Bob Rankin: Which Browser is The Most Secure?

Do you trust your web browser to warn you before you stumble into a malicious Web site? A recent study of six major browsers indicates that you probably shouldn’t. Only one browser succeeded at blocking over 90 percent of malicious links. Three runners-up tied at a measly 13 percent! The winner might surprise you, read on…

Is Internet Explorer 9 The Most Secure?

First, here’s a little background on how a browser decides whether to warn you against proceeding to a website. The browser checks each URL (web address) you click on against an online database of reported malicious sites. If a URL is not in the database, the browser just lets you go there. If the URL is in the database, a warning window pops up and you get to choose whether to proceed to the site or not.

Three major browsers – Firefox, Safari, and Chrome – use Google’s Safe Browsing database of malicious links. Opera uses technology provided by antivirus developer AVG. Microsoft has its own database called SmartScreen URL Filter. Apparently, Microsoft’s database is vastly superior to the others.

NSS Labs, an independent security testing facility, turned all six browsers loose against a set of 650 malicious URLs. The results are rather alarming for anyone who doesn’t use a recent version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer:

Article continued here:

This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.


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20 thoughts on “Bob Rankin: Which Browser is The Most Secure?

  1. As an IT professional for one of the largest and most geographically diverse companies in the world, I must agree with Rankin with one major point. 98% of the computer users out there know jack about what their computer does as long as it does what they want it to do. Generally, Rankin is preaching to the majority and there we can applaud him. At one time Apple was the safest OS (next to Linux) out there, but guess what, now that it has become more popular and now that it can’t do all the things that MS can (like Flash players), folks are now writing code to bring Apple down.
    The majority of my customer base has no idea there is anything other than IE and those that do are not too savvy about which add-on/plug-in to use to increase the security of the browser. Really, out of the box, IE9’s security blows everyone away….I have the bench tests to prove it…but once you start adding things to the other browsers to match up the security, I see them slow down considerably….especially Chrome which is slightly faster than IE out of the box but not as secure. So to all you haters out there, lose the bias, stop trolling the internet and pasting info as your own and do your own research.

  2. I attempted to use Linux a few yrs. ago and it was being sold as a basic OS. Before that you could have it for free but you had to know what to look for in amongst all the other freeware. Linux is way to confusing to use, and now I use a 64 bit machine. Japan is suppose to release a windows like program sometime this year, and I am looking forward to it.

  3. Did any of you get a virus warning when you clicked on the “article continued here” to read the rest of this article? it happened to me friday night. An official looking windows screen popped up saying i had several viruses. I immediatley turned off the modem and held in the power off button on my computer. then spent about 12 hours doing full system scans 5 different av, malware, and spyware programs.

  4. Everyone tries to defend their own judgement by their own expierences. Unfortunately you all fail to understand that Internet Explorer is a microsoft product design to work seamlessly with windows. Many internal windows scripts depend on Internet Explorer for Windows to function properly. When you remove IE or set another browser as a default in Windows you craete problems. It’s like putting a Ford part on a Chevy. It just doesn’t work the way it was designed.

  5. No WAY. The single best guard against malicious links is common sense. Internet Explorer has borderline paranoid security features that will do nothing more than give the average user a false sense of security while hampering the functionality of legit sites that rely on ActiveX, Java etc. along with the supposed ‘bad’ ones.

    Firefox for life.

  6. If you’re only familiar to Windows, but would like something more immune to virus’s. Consider what Tom R says about Linux. I recently came across something called JULinux (Just Use Linux). It has the high security of UBUNTU Linux, and the ease of use of Windows. Get a nice book called “Ubuntu Linux Toolbox” at the local bookstore and you’re set to go. NO you don’t need the book to install or run JULinux, just makes it easier to “Play Around” after you get bored and want to “customize” beyond the Windows. I’ve installed it on my desktop computer at home and it is so very easy to use. AND its FREE ……

  7. Here we have a case of Ranking scraping the bottom of the barrel and going with the lowest common denominator and catering exclusively for the dumbed-down, idiot populous who knows next to nothing about computers.

    Firstly, there are many aspects or layers to the security of any browser, other than the fact that it will or will not permit the user to access any one of a list of suspected fraudulent/blacklisted websites.

    For example, Since, IE (Internet Explorer) is part of the operating system as oposed to a stand alone program, that automatically makes less safe than its standalone counterpart. Thats just a fact that Microshite and Rankin would rather you didn’t know. I presume he thinks that his audience is too dumb to figure that one out and sadly, for the most part, he’s right.

    I prefer to choose for myself which sites I visit as there are a couple of occasions where firefox has got it wrong and when I actually looked into it more, it was nothing more than a legitimate site that had probably forgot to renew its security certificate. I can see where this whole scenario is heading. Regulation by quangos and any webmaster who does not comply will be automatically blacklisted. and here we have people like Rankin spreading his scaremongering and misinformation.

      • Not exactly correct, I’m afraid. It seems that yet again, we have people such as yourself spreading mis-information and talking complete cobblers.

        For me, you sum up the ability and knowlede of most of Rankin’s readers…and just like Rankin, pretend that you know what you are talking about!

  8. When I first started on the internet, I had no idea what it was, many decades ago, I was told that “Netscape” was the way to go, well I had one heck of a time trying to figure it out. Then I came across “Internet Explorer”, and had less of a problem navigating the then limited wide world network. Over the years I have been told to try “Firefox”, “Opera”, and yes, even good old “Netscape”, and I have never been as satisfied as with “IE”; yes they have had their problems, but I don’t think they are any worse than the others. As for putting up with more pop up security warnings, no problem, as long as my computer is SAFE!

  9. I love to see how all the “Geeks” weigh in on the pros and cons of this browser or that. Many computer users have not a clue as to what the browser does! They “Google”! They E-mail! They check the News Sites! That is it! They save in “Short Cuts” and “Book marks”! Past that, they know not!!! It either works,or, it does not! How many people like that are out there? Who knows! By the way!! I am one of them! At 66 and counting, I am really behind the curve! I am not alone! Art

  10. I hate to keep saying this but thats why I use a linux based OS, like Suse or Ubuntu. I have used these for years with no virus or spyware protection and have never gotten a bug.I can do anything web based MS can do without all the headache and expense, since its all free to the public.

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