What’s the safest browser?

By | October 13, 2012
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It all depends on who you ask. We prefer to go with facts. So here are the facts according to a study done by Accuvant.

“A recent Accuvant study ( http://www.accuvant.com/capability/accuvant-labs/security-research/browser-security-comparison-quantitative-approach ) revealed that Chrome (the second most popular browser) ranks as the most secure web browser when compared to Internet Explorer (the most popular) and Firefox. Interestingly, this month the German government named Chrome the most secure browser, perhaps lending weight to the study. However, critics have pointed out that the study was commissioned by Google (creator of Chrome), and the findings may therefore be skewed.

Still, according to the study, Chrome ranks the highest in creating and putting into use new safety measures to boost its security, with Internet Explorer only slightly behind Chrome. Firefox was deemed the least secure in the study…”

You can read that study by clicking the link in the cited article above or here. You can have to download the complete report in PDF format.

You’ll find sites which tell you that IE is the safest, others saying Firefox is the safest, and others who tout Chrome as the safest. But anyone can write an opinion. Tests results are test results — and Chrome consistently beats IE in security tests. In fact, Chrome is the only browser who pays hackers if they can hack it. And if they do hack Chrome, Google pays them (a lot) and Google then fixes those vulnerabilities discovered by paid hackers before the exploits are found “in the wild”. This is in direct contrast to Microsoft who sometimes waits  two or three weeks after an exploit or vulnerability has been discovered before they release a patch for it.

That being said, no browser is 100% secure. Most browsers provide adequate protection, for most people,  in most circumstances. It’s really the person using  the browser who determines its safety. Steer clear of shady sites, don’t download free programs that seem too good to be true, if you’re not sure about a download, research the program’s name. Most of all, be extra careful when installing freeware — much of it comes bundled with third-party applications — some times several — and most of these are spyware/adware or malware or worse. Once malware is installed on your computer, it multiplies quickly — installing “updates” which are really nothing more than more malware.

Most of the malware we’ve cleaned from other people’s computers is self-inflicted (downloading bad, bundled freeware programs) and not the result of any browser exploit.

3 thoughts on “What’s the safest browser?

  1. Edith Porter

    Google Chrome is fine …providing a person does not also have Internet EXplorer as a back up browser. Sometines, it is necessary to use two browsers at the same time. IE and Google Chrome do NOT get along with each other. This is why I had to delete Google Chrome. I currently use Comet Bird, which is a lighter version of Firefox,as my main browser. I then have IE and Opera as to alternate browsers when I need to open up in another browser. This is why I do not have Google Chrome browser.

    1. infoave Post author

      We use Chrome, Internet Explorer and sometimes Firefox at the same time. Programs are programs — if you can’t run two programs of the same type (say browsers) then the problem isn’t with the browsers, it’s with your computer. There’s nothing in Chrome that would conflict with Internet Explorer. Both Chrome and Internet Explorer are very heavy on resources (as is Firefox). It may well be, if you have many tabs open in both Chromes and Internet Explorer your system resources become low and your computer has problems.

      I test “Comet Bird” as well as “Pale Moon” — reading their system impact vs. Firefox I don’t see much difference in resources used– but hey, use what you like.

      There’s a reason why Chrome is #1 or #2 (depending on which statistics you use).

  2. Irene

    Just the article I have been waiting for. I presently use IE6 and when I click on IE6 it prompts me to download IE8. I have clicked on the info. of IE8 but nowhere does it talk about Windows XP which I still own and have not upgraded to Windows 7 yet. Can I upgrade to IE8 just the same and will it be easier to use. Thanks for the input. Always a great site. Irene


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