Your Browser Matters ranks website abilities
New website ranks browsers on internet safety
New site offers users website critique
Wednesday, October 26th 2011 by Steve Swallow
Microsoft has unveiled a website which tests web browsers’ strength against malware and phishing attacks to raise awareness of browser security.
Your Browser Matters ranks various browsers on their ability to deal with such threats and is also intended to educate computer users, including professionals such as internet marketing consultants, in the benefits of choosing the best browser.
The website encourages users to use up-to-date browsers which offer the best industry-standard features. These features include warnings prior to the downloading of a malicious file, the containing of web content in a security box with no access to sensitive areas and the ability to automatically install updates.
In studies by the website The Register, the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome were awarded just two and two and a half points respectively out of four. Internet Explorer (IE) Nine scored a perfect score while IE Seven got just one point, and IE Six received no marks.
Criticisms for Firefox from the website came in for a variety of omissions including an inability to restrict an extension or a plug-in on an individual site basis. Its failure to use Windows Protected Mode prevent the browser from altering system areas was also highlighted while the lack of a built-in feature to filter out malicious XSS, or cross-site scripting, code was also pulled up.
Google Chrome lost points for a lack of Windows features to protect against exception-handling overwrite attacks.
Defending his product, Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla’s director of Firefox engineering told The Register: “Microsoft’s site is more notable for the things it fails to include: security technologies like HSTS, privacy tools like Do Not Track, and vendor response time when vulnerabilities are discovered.
“Mozilla is fiercely proud of our long track record of leadership on security.”
Groups which back the Microsoft page include the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the Online Trust Alliance, and the Identity Theft Counsel.
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