How Good is Your Browser’s Security?
If you think that all browsers are essentially the same with regard to privacy and security, think again. Just as the threat from viruses and malware is constantly evolving, so are the abilities of those organizations who create and maintain browsers to continually meet challenges from external threats. In this post we will compare and contrast the safety and privacy features of some of the most popular available browsers.
On the plus side, Mozilla continues to remain committed to the privacy of their users by declining to profit from analyzing and selling their users browser information. Unfortunately, Firefox has a notable security flaw by continuing to keep all data from plugins stored in the same location. Just one rogue add-on could gain vital data from other plugins such as a password manager, for example.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
This is Microsoft’s legacy browser. Although the most recent version does continue to receive an occasional update, this browser is not considered fully supported by Microsoft anymore. This means vulnerabilities might not be addressed, leaving users and their computers exposed to threats. If anyone in your organization is still using IE, it is time to make a change.
Edge is Microsoft’s newer browser and comes with their latest operating system, Windows 10. Edge is fully supported by Microsoft. Although not as customizable as other browsers perhaps, Edge should receive regular updates for the foreseeable future. In addition, Microsoft has made notable improvements to protect users from malicious code by creating safe “virtualization” spaces to test links before opening them.
Safari is Apple’s default browser on all their devices. Traditionally, Safari has been thought to be relatively free of attacks simply because it did not have enough users to make it profitable for hackers to attack it. Recently that has begun to change and Apple has had to respond to some malware attacks. Fortunately, they have been quick to address these types of threats.
Google’s Chrome browser is the most commonly used browser available. Out of all the other browsers, Google updates their Chrome browser the most frequently to combat external threats. Generally, it is considered the safest browser available. Unfortunately, Google is also known to track, analyze and store essentially every keystroke their users make. This is not to say that Google compromises personal passwords or other sensitive data, but they do know a great deal about every user’s internet habits.
Every organization should weigh the pros and cons of the various browsers and decide which one best meets their needs. For some security is paramount, whereas others might be more concerned about privacy or the ability to customize their browser to conduct their daily business activities.
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