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:
This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.