Which is the safest browser- IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera?

The safest way to surf the web is to pick the best browser, but how? The most important parameter while judging a browser is its security. Because of the ever growing threats via web browsers, browser developers have trying to give best security features to their browser. All major browsers have added security technologies to combat web-based threats, but, not all of them have taken the same approach, nor claim to stop the same breadth of attacks.

NSS Labs, the leading independent security product testing and certification organization, has examined six major browsers- Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera against socially engineered Malware and published a report called ‘Web Browser Security - Socially Engineered Malware Protection’.

The report reveals that Internet Explorer 8 (RC1) is the safest one with a 69% catch rate against Malware. It was 30% in Mozilla Firefox (3.07), 24% in Apple Safari, 16% in Google Chrome (v1.0.1549) 5% in Opera v9.64, and 4% in Internet Explorer 7. (You can download the complete test result from here (pdf))

From this report you can clearly understand that presently Internet Explorer 8 is the safest browser that you can rely on. At the same time Internet Explorer 7 failed to perform a better result.

29 comments

  1. Great news! really useful to all. Thanks for the post.

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  2. I can't believe IE8 is the safest browser. Though I like Firefox & Chrome. Thanks for such useful post.

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  3. i wonder how accurate this report is.
    related...
    tinyurl.com/c3hzme
    tinyurl.com/cah4re

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  4. @Omkar Dutta
    Firefox is my favorite browser because of its some features, but we can't ignore the new Internet Explorer 8 also.

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  5. @ Anonymous!?
    Thanks for this info. I also recommend users to check both the link - tinyurl.com/c3hzme and tinyurl.com/cah4re - for further clarification.

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  6. Wow, i'm shocked! I use Firefox and Maxthon for their speed and user friendliness and the customiseability of them. I was pretty sure Firefox was the safest. But i have a good antivirus program so i'm not worried.

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  7. You forgot to mention that this study was funded by Microsoft.

    Note: NSS Labs developed the test methodology and infrastructure independently. Microsoft provided funding.

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  8. @Anonymous
    Thanks for all info. For proper credibility of the news please give the proper source and instead of just saying Anonymous, please give your name and other info if there. Thanks again and you are most welcome.

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  9. They are leaving off the fact that IE is the number one malware target, and that Chrome runs in a sandbox. IE8 might be safer for click happy idgits, but a reasonably aware surfer is far safer with Chrome. Even if you find a sight with a "drive by" it only executes in the sandbox. Yes I can ignore IE8, it doesn't run on linux X-P
    http://google-chrome-browser.com/new-approach-browser-security-google-chrome-sandbox

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  10. fools , firefox.3.5.1 is out chk dat use malwarebytes antimalware, keep avast if possible as it gives boot time scan prvents system infections trust , i hv formatted my lappy many times finally found somthin good , use this info--zibasco@gmail.com

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  11. crap u guys don want useful info i guess

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  12. Explorer safest? i really doubt it, it must have been some biased research.

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  13. IE8 sucks anyways, its seriously such a terrible browser to use. Even if it really is the safest I'm sticking with Firefox.

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  14. I have Avast Antivirus, McAFee SiteAdvisor and the Windows spyware tool. I use Opera 10.01 if possible. As some websites do not support such browser, instead I use IE8. Never had problems with trojans, malware or any other infections of any kind. I think one just needs to be careful with what sites one visits and what kind of downloads one does. If for example one's looking to download a nonlegal rooter to crack some software then obviously, sooner or later you will get an infection.

    About this research, as with any, checks should be made in order to acknowledge its source and possible bias.

    Signed: Rui Viegas, Cambridge, UK

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  15. I have to disagree with these results. IE is by far the easiest browser to exploit out of the available choices. What the study fails to consider is the the massive number of addons for Firefox make it far safer than IE can hope to be unless MS opens it up for end user modification. There are also a multitude of other reasons that would take far too long to explain such as OS Integration, core system dependencies, and other items that make IE my last choice for security.

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  16. I think we are talking out of the box here IE8 is the safest, with firefox you have to go looking for plugins.

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  17. They tested it when Opera was in Beta version. Now there is a stable version of Opera 10.10 so I would say it scores close to IE8 and Firefox. Also to note the new Opera 10.50 coming out but its still in pre-alpha version

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  18. Microsoft and another one of its marketing tricks.

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  19. Note that the report investigates socially engineered malware, not security breaches in the software itself. Think of warnings like: "are you sure you want to download and doubleclick 'installtrojan.exe'"? "Maybe you shouldn't believe you're really the 1,000,000th visitor of this site", etc

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  20. man, this makes me laugh!! i use Chromium and it does great! Micro$oft even funded it! IE makes my pc freeze, so i oly use Chromium.

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  21. Yeah, Internet Explorer is DEFINITELY the safest browser.
    I'd just like to say that using IE I got at least 7 viruses, and got none from Firefox or Opera.

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  22. When I found out this report was about "socially engineered malware" I just rolled my eyes. It's nice for a browser to protect against user stupidity, for small kids, elderly, and gullible users, but I don't care about it at all. (Because I'm not an idiot.) I only care about actual code exploits and so on. Userfail-based stuff is only a small part of the overall browser safety picture. Therefore, this result says absolutely nothing about which browser is the OVERALL safest browser--and I'm sure Microsoft knows it, and deliberately focused on one relatively insignificant area in which they happened to be strong.

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  23. I Vote for Google Chrome as i feel as the best browser ever i used. And i love firefox too :)

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  24. Using Firefox most of the times although I have encountered situations where IE8 would have faced "security issues" better. Still would like to know how Chrome is considered better than IE8 or Ff.

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  25. This test shows the catch rate, but not the absolute number of attacks in each browser. Additionally, the most malware attack through the active-X control, which is used by IE

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  26. http://www.betanews.com/article/Symantec-Says-Theres-No-Safe-Browser/1159217023 heres the link to symantec review and correction it takes microsoft 9 days to patch a vulnerability.

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  27. shocking since my IE after some use always gets hijacked using ads etc.

    I now use Firefox, Chrome or Opera

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  28. how come every time i use ie i get some kind of virus? when i got my mac i started using Safari and i have been virus free for up to 3 years now.

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