Browsers and Security Vulnerabilities

Joseph ComoInternet Safety, Website Tips

You’ve probably heard someone say, “I won’t try that new version until they’ve worked the bugs out”.  “Bugs” is another term for “issues” and often times newly released upgrades or versions of just about anything technological will have “bugs”.  Browsers are no different.  Software bugs can range from annoying to frustrating, depending on what stops working.  Sometimes, however, there are bigger things to be concerned about than bugs and those are Security Vulnerabilities

A critical security vulnerability means your computer and other devices can be exposed to download attacks and hacks.  If a browser has security vulnerabilities, an unsuspecting user will surf to a maliciously rigged website where the attackers can steal identity information, banking information and passwords. 

Each year, browsers are tested and security weaknesses exposed.  In Nov. 2010, a list of these browsers and the number of security weaknesses was published. 

Google Chrome ranked number one for most susceptible to attack with 76 vulnerabilities.  Next, Apple Safari ranked number 2 with 60, Mozilla Firefox was number 3 with 51, Microsoft Internet Explorer sat at number 4 with 32 and coming up at number 5 was Opera with 6.

None of the versions of these browsers were indicate but experts are saying that the browsers’ positions haven’t changed much since the report. 

Not all vulnerabilities in these browsers are exploited by the evil doers in this world, but many of them are and thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself while surfing the internet.

One the best ways you can thwart an attack is to keep your browser plug-ins up to date.  Java is one of the most vulnerable plug-ins, but also the most frequently “patched”.  If Java wants you to update, just do it! 

Purchasing an internet security program like Norton or McAfee and keeping the subscription up-to-date can be a big help in preventing your online activities from becoming a nightmare.