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Web Browser Security: Chrome®, Firefox® and Internet Explorer®

Posted on: 06/06/12
Choosing a web browser can be the single most important security decision you make for your computer. It is important to choose a browser that not only delivers in performance but also provides top-notch security. This blog post is intended to help you understand different security features found in three popular web browsers —Google® Chrome (19.0), Mozilla® Firefox (12.0), and Microsoft® Internet Explorer (9.0).

Pop-up Blocker
Pop-up blocker is a simple yet very important security feature that allows a web browser to prevent websites from opening additional web browser windows (pop-up windows) without your consent. Pop-up windows are generally used by websites for showing advertisements to visitors, but malicious websites often use pop-up windows to distribute malicious code.

Available in:
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.


Private Browsing Mode
Private Browsing Mode (also referred to as “Privacy Mode”) is a special stealth session where your browsing history, passwords, downloads, and cookies are not recorded by a web browser. Private Browsing Mode is extremely useful when using public computers or public Wi-Fi in places like cyber cafes, libraries or schools. This feature is available in all three browsers but has different names in each. In Chrome, it’s known as “Incognito Mode”. In Firefox, it’s known as “Private Browsing” and in Internet Explorer, it’s referred to as “InPrivate Browsing”.

Available in:
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Clear Data
As you browse the Internet, your web browser collects browsing data such as websites visited, cookies, cache, passwords, etc. to make it convenient for you to re-visit the website later. The “clear data” feature in web browsers helps you delete the collected data in just a few clicks.  

Available in:
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Parental Control
As the name suggests, the parental control feature lets you filter web content and configure your browser to allow or block specific types of content/websites. Internet Explorer 9 has a built-in parental control feature. Although Google and Firefox do not have this feature built-in, you can install a third party add-on/extension.

Available in:
Internet Explorer.

It is extremely important that your web browser is always up-to-date with the latest security patches. Updating your web browser manually is not only time consuming but also a bit risky since you may miss an important update. Fortunately, the built-in auto-update feature automatically lets you know whenever there’s a new update available for your browser.

Available in:
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Do Not Track
Did you know that there are websites that track and collect your online behavior and sell them to advertisers? The advertisers use the data to deliver targeted ads to you! The “Do Not Track” feature allows you to configure your browser to instruct websites not to track your browsing habits. Firefox and Internet Explorer have built-in “Do Not Track” features. Chrome on the other hand expects to incorporate this feature by the end of 2012.

Available in:
Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Online phishing is a major concern among most Internet users. Online phishing involves developing a genuine-looking fraudulent website with intention to steal personal information. The anti-phishing feature in a web browser detects fraudulent sites and displays a warning message when you try to access those websites.

Available in:
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

The anti-malware feature integrated in a web browser prevents its users from accidentally visiting malware-infected websites and downloading malicious content from them. This is a very important feature and it exists in all three web browsers.

Available in:
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Which Web Browser Is Best For You?
The answer to the above question depends on individual taste. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the most popular web browsers out there and they all offer great features. Consider the security features listed above and choose the web browser you like the most. You can also have multiple browsers installed on your computer and you can use them accordingly!

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