Which Browser Offers Best Protection from Malware

June 11, 2013 by in Bob Rankin

Which Browser Offers Best Protection from Malware

By Bob Rankin

Web browsers have become a favorite target for those who create malware. When it comes to guarding against these threats – not all browsers are created equal.–PC Pitstop

Web browsers are used to interact with the Internet more than any other type of software. So it’s no surprise that the latest malware tries to infiltrate computers via Web browsers. But which browser does the best job of protecting you? Read on for some surprising test results…

Which Browsers Protect You From Malicious Content?

The front lines of defense against viruses, spyware and other forms of malware are your firewall and your anti-virus protection. If you’re not sure you’ve got those two important pieces of software in place, see my related articles Do I Really Need a Firewall and Free Anti-Virus Programs before continuing.

The online security landscape is constantly evolving, not unlike an arms race. New threats emerge, and the software to defend against them is released. Because most users now have anti-virus software, the evil forces who create malware have turned their gaze to a new attack vector — your web browser.

Browser Malware Protection

The most popular browsers attempt to keep users safe from such attacks by blocking access to malicious Web pages and downloads of malicious executable files. The latest releases of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera all have security features baked into their code. But there is a huge gap between the most and least effective of the top five browsers’ defenses. And you might be surprised to learn which browser keeps you safest.

Security experts at NSS Labs, Inc., tested the five leading browsers against a sample of 754 “active and malicious” URLs (web page addresses) to see what percentage were caught by each browser’s defenses. You can read the complete NSS browser safety report, but the summary results are simple and stunning:

browserprotection


Clearly, only IE 10 and Chrome can be taken seriously if you are looking for a browser that protects you from malicious Web content. But what accounts for the dismal performance of Safari, Firefox, and especially Opera, and the narrower but significant difference between IE and Chrome?

Article Continued Here

Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

Bob Rankin

About Bob Rankin

Bob Rankin is a translator for the technology impaired -- a writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Internet TOURBUS, author of several computer books, and creator of the Lowfat Linux tutorial.

8 Responses to Which Browser Offers Best Protection from Malware

  1. Patrick G. Bryant says:

    I.E. 10 vs. Safari 5….really? Let's see how Safari 6 measures up since that was out well before this article was published…


  2. Gerry Ward says:

    Firefox 19, that was ages ago its 22 now lets see some up to date results please.


  3. Paul Hovnanian says:

    lynx?


  4. plaristote says:

    Unbelievable that such a study would be published anywhere.
    This is clearly false. I mean come on, Opera with 1.87% of success ? They were among the first to implement such securities, and the mentioned security (blocking web content) isn’t even handled by any web browser developer but by a common organization tracking malicious software over the web.

    This is the stupidest thing ever. And unsurprisingly, Microsoft is behind it.


  5. Peter Thompson says:

    The problem with this article is it talks about malware protection but it doesn’t actually consider security holes in the actual browser. At the end of the day you can offer great protection tools in a browser, but if the actual browser has lots of holes that can be exploited the tools can be useless really.

    Microsoft has been known to take a while fixing these holes when it comes to IE. People complain at Google sometimes because they release many updates to Chrome but at the end of the day it means their continuously trying to make sure their browser is as safe as possible. Microsoft should take a leaf out of Google and Firefox’s book.


  6. Bruce says:

    Another NSS Microsoft funded test……………….about as biased and unreliable as a test can be LOL


  7. JR Namida says:

    I. E. is unsafe at any speed, this is a bogus review.

    To remind you: in the world of PWN2OWN, “successful attack” means that merely by browsing to untrusted web content, you’re able to inject and run arbitrary executable code outside the browser.

    In the real world, that means you could pull off a drive-by install, where you bypass all intended protections, prevention and pop-up warnings from the browser.

    On a windows Operating system all web browsers fell quite easily…


  8. tncdel says:

    If Microsoft would allow Mac users to use the latest version of Internet Explorer, I might try it out. But I like Safari and another browser you didn’t even mention: mozilla’s Camino.

    I don’t like Chrome. It’s too stripped down. Opera’s too slow and unreliable. Firefox / Aurora is inferior to its sister browser Camino.


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