Is your web browser safe?

Large scale survey finds 40 percent of internet users surfing with unsafe web browsers. Researchers from IBM, Google and the Communication Systems Groups combined efforts to find out if computers owners care about safety of their web browsers and the results were not as good as expected.

The study was based on Google logs that recorded names of web browsers used for each search request on Google on time period between January 2007 and June 2008. Results of research that included 1.4 billion Web users can be considered accurate. Study revealed that 576 million users of 1.4 billion used unsafe software to browse the web. Measuring safety of web browser might look a difficult task on the first sight, but each browser has vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Fortunately, software developers discover exploits and release updated software regularly. Unfortunately, malware creators discover vulnerabilities as well and use them for their own good. That’s why web browsers should be updated immediately when new version is released. The older version of web browser is aboard a machine, the more chances to fall a victim of cyber crimes.

Users of Mozilla Firefox are the ones that care about their safety the most; the latest version was found on 83.3 percent of computers with Firefox aboard. The most popular Microsoft Internet Explorer hadn’t performed well: only 47.6 percent of users had the safest new version. The numbers may have been a little different if researchers weren’t strict. They automatically labeled IE6 as insecure, but this classification has a point as using IE6 without additional security tools is a risky deal. 65.3 percent of users of Safari browser had the updated version while 56.1 percent of Opera browser fans had the newest update.

Researchers pointed the reason why Firefox users are more likely to have the updated version: it is because the updating process of Mozilla Firefox browser is the most simple of all the browsers. User is prompted to install the update right after it is released and if he/she refuses, the update is installed automatically the next time browser is opened.


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