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Is Your Browser Secure?

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Ian Atkinson View Drop Down
C&W Mason - Secretary Gp
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Joined: 28 October 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 426
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Atkinson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is Your Browser Secure?
    Posted: 20 July 2011 at 22:05
Well do you know how secure it is? Or do you just trust the developers to make it as secure as possible?
I ask these questions after just reading a test report of the 6 most popular internet browsers.

First, here's a little background on how a browser decides whether to warn you against proceeding to a website. The browser checks each URL (web address) you click on against an online database of reported malicious sites. If a URL is not in the database, the browser just lets you go there. If the URL is in the database, a warning window pops up and you get to choose whether to proceed to the site or not.

Three major browsers - Firefox, Safari, and Chrome - use Google's Safe Browsing database of malicious links. Opera uses technology provided by antivirus developer AVG. Microsoft has its own database called SmartScreen URL Filter. Apparently, Microsoft's database is vastly superior to the others. o that is not just Microsoft's claim.

NSS Labs, an independent security testing facility, tested all six browsers against a set of 650 malicious URLs. The results are rather alarming for anyone who doesn't use a recent version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer:

  • Internet Explorer 9 blocked 92 percent of the malicious links. (IE8 scored at 90 percent.)Smile
  • Only 13 percent of malicious links were blocked by Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Shocked
  • Opera scored a pathetic 5 percent.Cry
  • But wait, it gets even better. (Or worse, depending on your preferred browser.) Internet Explorer 9 has a new feature, Application Reputation, which boosted its blocking rate to an astonishing 100 per cent in NSS Labs' test. Application Reputation focuses on downloadable files rather than Web pages. It examines a file's "reputation" in the SmartScreen database: how many times it has been downloaded; is it digitally signed; is the publisher known and reputable; have there been any reports of malware in the file. If a file is known and trusted, the download proceeds without interference from SmartScreen. If it is known malware, you are warned of that fact and given a chance to cancel the download. If it is unknown, you receive a cautionary message before the download is allowed to proceed.
I have been using Firefox 5 but now I think I really have to move back to IE9. I tried it in beta tester format and had awful problems, but that is why they do beta testing, for fools like me to report their problems. Obviously it has been improved since then, so I will now go and download the latest version.
I would be interested to know what other members are using, especially our FAT team.


Ian Atkinson
PPrJGW   
WM Cumbrian Byte Lodge 9760; PCmdr Wellington RAM 1678; Sun & Sector Lodge No 962; Z Sun & Sector Chapter 962;
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Barry Crosthwaite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barry Crosthwaite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 July 2011 at 22:56
Well I'm using Firefox 5.0 - it was recommended to me by Sandy Rogers when I first joined the forum five years or so ago,  and - fingers crossed - I've never had any problems! Come to think of it, strike out the 'fingers crossed' bit, I'm pretty happy with Firefox - and certainly prefer it to Internet Explorer - although I do have it installed but Firefox is my default browser.

Barry Crosthwaite


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2011 at 07:49
I trialled IE9 Beta. The problem with it is that not all applications/sites support it yet.  I'm sure they will catch up.  Untill them I'll stick with IE8 & Firefox.
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Ian Atkinson View Drop Down
C&W Mason - Secretary Gp
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Joined: 28 October 2005
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Points: 426
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Atkinson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2011 at 10:50
Barry
Were you on Firefox when your email got infected? You can't have had your fingers crossed that day.



Ian Atkinson
PPrJGW   
WM Cumbrian Byte Lodge 9760; PCmdr Wellington RAM 1678; Sun & Sector Lodge No 962; Z Sun & Sector Chapter 962;
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Barry Crosthwaite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barry Crosthwaite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2011 at 19:23
Come to think about it - I was!!!!

So that knocks that argument on the head!

I've now shut down that e-mail account.

I'm going to have to have a re-think.

Thanks for reminding me Ian.

Barry Crosthwaite


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Bob Erett View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob Erett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2011 at 17:07
Thanks for this Ian.  I use IE8.  I haven't progressed to IE9 yet.  I'm still using Windows XP and am not rocking the boat.   I'm not commenting on whether I have had problems - don't want to tempt fate.  I haven't so far, but as soon as I say that - well, who knows???? If you know what I mean and all that.
 
 
Bob Erett Craft: PPGSwdB 9734,SW Lodge 9734 Asst Sec 9911, MM MK0 (S.C.); Royal Arch: PPGSoj, PPrGSwdB(WL), "Z" 343, PZ & SE 9734;PSoj 9430; KT PPrHer, Eminent Preceptor 606. RoyalOrderofScotland

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