Which Windows Browser is Most Secure?

June 22, 2011, By Christian Cawley

You’re probably sat there on your laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile device or even Internet TV thinking “Duh! Everybody knows that Firefox/Chrome/Safari is the most secure browser for Windows.”

Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion, but recent statistics have proved that you’re actually wrong.

While Mozilla Firefox is a popular browser, particularly great for add-ons (although this is also a vulnerability) and Chrome delivers a slick and resource-light alternative, there are threats that can take advantage of both of these web browsers. Safari, too, is prone to having vulnerabilities exploited.

All of this means that while you might think that you’re using the most secure browser available, you’re not.

Which Windows browser is the most secure?

However, you probably have the most secure browser already installed on your Windows 7 PC, and by ignoring it you’re potentially opening your computer and data to online threats that could at worst result in the theft of personal data and at best lead to a data-destroying malware infection.

So, what is this miraculous piece of computer software that enables you to browse in comparative safety?

Why, Internet Explorer, of course!

The Statistics Prove It

While there might be a fair few Microsoft haters out there, recent surveys have proved that Internet Explorer is now the safest browser to use.

Back in the days of Internet Explorer 6, this clearly wasn’t the case, and Microsoft can be soundly accused of resting on their laurels at this stage, apparently believing that web browsers had gone as far as they possibly could.

This was clearly a mistake, and typical of an attitude that Microsoft is still paying for in some areas of its business.

However, the figures speak for themselves. According to Symantec’s bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report, in 2009 Firefox had the biggest number of vulnerabilities recorded with 169; Safari had 94 and Chrome had 41. Internet Explorer was just above Chrome with 45, but since then the National Vulnerability Database hosted by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team shows 51 vulnerabilities combined for both Mac OS X and iOS versions of Safari, 40 for Chrome, 20 for Firefox and just 17 for Internet Explorer.

Pretty surprising results, aren’t they? The thing to take from this in particular is that not everyone is using Internet Explorer 8 or 9, and the additional security introduced in more recent versions of the browser has clearly being working. Remember, however, that as IE remains the most-used browser, the majority of browser-targeted online threats are going to be focusing on Microsoft’s browser.

Whichever browser you are using, though, you need to make sure that you keep it up to date. This will enable any additional exploit protection that needs to be added to the browser and ensure that you are able to surf the web in safety.

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