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Research shows Microsoft Edge may be the most secure Browser

New research by NSS Labs is showing that Microsoft Edge may be the most secure browser.

Update (09/11/2016):  Further confirming the claims of this article, Google and Mozilla have recently had to remove an extension from their browsers which was found to sell user data. The extension, known as WOT (Web of Trust) was found collecting and selling IP addresses, geo-locations, device and OS info, browser usage, accessed web addresses and more. Although WOT were quick to release an official statement, claiming that all collected data was anonymised and protected, however this did not stop Google and Mozilla from removing the add-on from their official stores. The main reason cited was the lack of transparency between the Privacy Policy of the add-on and its actions.

Original article follows:

Research conducted by experts at NSS Labs has revealed that Microsoft Edge may be more secure than both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The IT security firm carried out tests to see how the browsers handle socially engineered malware (SEM) and phishing attacks; some of the most common online security threats.

The following browsers were used in the research:

• Mozilla Firefox v48.0.2

• Google Chrome v53.0.2785

• Microsoft Edge v38.14393.0.0

Firstly, NSS Labs tested the ability to protect users from socially engineered malware. Edge’s performance in this test was particularly good, with a 99% block rate, compared to Chrome’s 85.8% and Firefox’s 78.3%. Analysing the protection from phishing attacks, the researchers at NSS Labs found that Edge managed to block 91.4% of URLs, while Chrome and Firefox achieved 82.4% and 81.4%, respectively. The third test measured the protection rate for zero-day threats. The results showed that Edge was 98.7% effective, while Chrome and Firefox were 92.8% and 78.3% effective, respectively.

The results of the tests will be good news for Microsoft who have been struggling to attract users to their Edge browser since its release. Chrome has been totally dominating the browser market share, with Edge lagging far behind. New features in Edge have done little to increase the browser’s usage, but maybe improved security will do just that.

However, a browser’s security does not immediately make it the best on the market – which browser is truly the greatest? First off, we have Mozilla Firefox – a well-known name. One of Firefox’s major selling points is its huge list of available add-ons, which is much bigger than any of its competitors’. On the downside, Firefox users can experience slow load times on webpages with considerable amount of media, such as images.

We also have the world’s most popular browser; Chrome. Google Chrome is popular for a reason; it has many great features. Chrome’s ability to translate foreign pages, close frozen tabs, and good security protocols, make it a household name. As for disadvantages, Chrome does not have huge problems. There have been reports that Chrome is not secure for banking transactions, however those were few and far in between. Otherwise, there will be an occasional bug or issue which must be dealt with, but generally the browser is fine.

Finally, we have Edge. Apart from the previously explained security tests, Edge has many other great features. Its minimal design makes it a very quick browser, with some reports suggesting it may be the quickest on the market. Edge’s Cortana integration is another good selling point, while other features, such as the ability to make notes directly on webpages, make interest some users. However, what some see as a positive, other see as a problem. Edge’s lack of customisation has been brought up by many as the reason they would not change to the browser. Another issue is the lack of option to add user profiles; something that both Chrome and Firefox have had for a while. Additionally, Edge is missing many popular ‘extra’ features that are available in both of the other two browser – for example the ability to re-open recently closed tabs.

Which browser is truly the greatest? The general public opinion is swayed towards Google Chrome, but with the technology market constantly changing, it may not stay so for long.

(article originally written 03/11/2016, last update 10/11/2016)

 
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