December 26, 2011 1 Comment-
When you’re out exploring in your car, you know a bit about its safety features – newer tyres have more grip than older ones, airbags are preferable to not and disc breaks are better than standard ones. But what about when you’re exploring the web – do you know why one browser is safer than another? Do you know which is the safest?
To be honest, it’s a bit of a contentious issue. Google’s Chrome was recently named the most secure browser, but no-one has agreed on what safety features are the most important, and this particular study was run by an independent company but funded by Google. Oh dear.
The most recent study monitored Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox’s performance in five categories: address space layout randomization (ASLR), data execution prevention (DEP), stack cookies, sandboxing, and JIT hardening (don’t worry – I had to look up what these meant, too).
It was the sandboxing that proved pivotal to Chrome’s win – the way the browser isolates itself from the rest of the computer. Basically, Google’s offering is better equipped to prevent malicious content from accessing your system’s files.
Back in January, however, tests by the company NSS Labs showed that Internet Explorer was the safest browser, especially against malware threats. At the time, Internet Explorer was capable of blocking five times more malware than Chrome.
While no one has created a set criteria for internet security yet, all of the browser developers agree on one small thing you can do to keep safe online. Just like car manufactures suggest driving at the speed limit, web developers all agree: it’s vital to keeps your browser up-to-date.
Personally, I’m running Chrome (because it’s so fast and sleek), with additional security software in the background (hello, Norman Security Suite). While security is important for browser developers, they’ve also got lots of other features to think of – and I’d rather depend on a dedicated security solution.
So what are you using – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari? And is it up-to-date?
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