How Safe Is Your Web Browser?

By Jose Ortiz

Web Browser SecurityWeb browser security is something we don’t think about while we surf the Internet.


The browser you use can either protect you or leave you vulnerable to malicious software infections.


One example would be browser hijacking. “This occurs when scammers use malicious software to take control of your computer’s Internet browser and change how and what it displays when you’re surfing the web.” (source: Microsoft)


According to NSSLabs

“Browsers must provide a strong layer of defense from malware, especially in mobile operations, rather than relying upon third-party anti-malware solutions and operating system protections”.  


Browser security is paramount when it comes to defending you from Malware attacks.


A test conducted by NSSLabs clearly shows that Internet Explorer’s 10 security features offers the best malware protection among the top five web browsing programs. Web Browser Security

The five leading web browsing programs, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, and Opera had to prove their ability to block against socially engineered malware attacks.


754 samples of real-world malware threats were tested against five web browsers over a period of 28 days.


The five browsers were exposed to 550 test runs against these unique 754 URLs, which produced over 18,000 test cases per browser.


Web Browser Analysis

It is comforting to know that Microsoft and Google are taking web browser security very seriously.


However, Safari, Firefox, and Opera have ways to go to improve their web browsers. NSSLabs points out…


“Browsers with low malware block rates places consumers at a significant risk.” 


And “malware downloads (via web browser) are the most common infection vector for criminals attempting to monetize malware via account/password theft, bank/financial fraud, gaming fraud, click fraud, and bot installation.”


This report is eye-opening considering that web browsers are the primary means of accessing the Internet.


They are the “first line of defense” in computer security and should offer consumers the best possible protection from malware infections.


But what happens when browsers fails to block a threat?


In this case, anti-virus software and the operating system have to bear the responsibility in shielding against malware infections.


This is the second line of defense. NSSLabs notes that…


“Antivirus software can be likened to a goalkeeper, if the defense allows too many shots on goal, something will eventually get through.”


It is incumbent upon consumers to have the best antivirus protection as well as anti-spyware software installed.


I can recommend two that I use in addition to my antivirus protection that will greatly enhance overall computer security; malwarebytes and superantispyware.


I use these two on a regular basis when cleaning up customer’s PCs and laptops.

I hope this article sheds some light into how vitally important web browser security is. Any thoughts? I would appreciate any feedback.


If it has, please like or share it so others can benefit from it.


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