Written by our own security aficionado, Bobby Hood, this is an excerpt from the full article located on his site Tip Top Security.
Your Internet browser is the lid on Pandora’s box. A window to the madness of cyberspace. Visit the wrong website, click the wrong link, download the wrong file, and you’ll find out how effective that window is at protecting you.
The trouble with this article
The true security differences in these browsers are nitpicky. I can safely recommend using any browser in this roundup (except for Safari on Windows) because the differences don’t mean a whole lot as long as you practice good security habits.
This is a high-level overview, based on 1) others’ research, 2) the averaged scores from the Browserscope project, and 3) my own experiences with clients and colleagues.
I should point out that the Browserscope project is not a good standalone comparison of which browser is the safest. It merely analyzes a certain “class” of attack vectors. There is much more to browser safety than a number can tell you.
And keep in mind this is not a completely scientific comparison. It’s not really possible to pick a “most secure” browser since all browsers have their strengths and weaknesses.
[box type=”note_box” class=”box_light_gray”]
Browser Comparison Chart
|Chrome||Very good||Serious doubts||16/17|
|IE 10+||Okay||Maybe okay||11/17|
|Safari (Mac only)||Good||Maybe okay||13/17|
*The Browserscope score is the averaged security scores for each browser family up to the time of this writing.
Which Browser Should I Use?
Chrome is probably the marginal winner in security. Of course it’s not always so cut and dry. With that said, my recommendation is actually Firefox. Even though I ranked it “below” Chrome in this article, it’s still top-ranked in safety. I believe it has the best security/privacy combo in this roundup. It’s also much cleaner and easier to use, and better at rendering pages, in my opinion.
But if you have no issues with Google knowing even more about you than they already do, or you prefer Google’s interface, then I suggest Chrome because they have the resources and expertise to make a good, secure product. Or if you’d rather support the little guy, Opera is also a good choice.
Do not use Apple Safari on Windows. It is no longer secure. However, on Mac, it’s still a good choice.
I would suggest staying away from Internet Explorer whenever possible. If you regularly practice good security habits, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem. It’s just my recommendation. There are plenty to choose from. Why choose the worst out of the bunch?
In the end, your security is based mostly on your behavior. No browser can always protect a user who’s browsing habits are unsafe. As always, practice good behavior, no matter what browser you’re using.