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Google Chrome Is ‘Most Unsafe’ Web Browser, Apple Safari Has Lowest Risk: Which Is The Safest In 2022?
Web browsers are a must for surfing the internet, but most users seldom consider the risks. These gateways to the internet can have flaws, bugs, and security loopholes. A report focusing on this very topic has offered some concerning insights. Let us consider the implications and ways to stay protected while using web browsers.
Google Chrome has proven to be the "most unsafe" web browser of 2022 owing to the sheer number of security vulnerabilities discovered this year. On the other end, if vulnerabilities are the only yardstick of measurement, Apple's Safari is considered the safest. Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers aren't always secure either.
With 303 security vulnerabilities discovered between January 1, 2022, and October 5, 2022, Chrome has topped the list of "Most Unsafe Browsers" of 2022. The browser has a total of 3,159 security flaws. If that's not worrying enough, Google Chrome is the only browser with multiple new vulnerabilities discovered in the first week of October 2022. Each of these flaws could be used by attackers to corrupt memory.
Mozilla Firefox was second-most vulnerable, with 117 security flaws, while Microsoft Edge had 103. While the number of flaws is certainly on the lower side, vulnerabilities discovered within the Edge browser have shot up by 61% when compared to last year.
Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera are all based on the Chromium engine, which is maintained by Google. Hence it is believed that these browsers may share the vulnerabilities that exist in the Chromium engine.
The Safari browser could be considered the safest with just 26 vulnerabilities discovered in 2022. It is also reassuring to note that the browser had a total of just 1,139 since its release. But Opera seems to be the only browser with no documented vulnerabilities so far in 2022, indicated a survey by Atlas VPN.
Although the sheer number of vulnerabilities may alarm internet users, Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, and Apple offer regular updates for their web browsers. Security vulnerabilities are discovered regularly but these tech giants have large teams to develop and deploy patches for these bugs. Often, such security issues are discovered by these internal teams, and patched way before hackers exploit them.
Google has already patched the security vulnerabilities discovered in October. Chrome browser version 106.0.5249.61 contains the patches. Users can easily update the browser with just a few clicks.
Which Web Browser is Safe?
Nearly every web browser is now available for Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, and other operating systems. Several of these web browsers support also offer cross-platform operability. This means users can switch from one device to another without interrupting their browsing.
As indicated by the survey, Apple iPhone users can safely stick to the Safari browser. Not only is the browser deeply integrated within the iPhone's iOS operating system, Apple tightly controls the development and the ecosystem.
In comparison to Apple's iOS, the Android ecosystem is far more open. Google even allows third-party app stores to be installed on Android devices. To stay safe, Android smartphone users should download and use apps from Google Play Store only. Apps from Google's app repository are scrutinized by the Google Play Protect platform. Even if there's a security layer, users should always exercise caution, and download apps from reputed developers.
Although Android OS allows sideloading, users should not obtain and install apps from questionable sources. These might offer some added features, but they can compromise safety and security, usually by secretly installing malware. While these apps might have nothing to do with a web browser, they can quickly gather a lot of sensitive information on a smartphone.
How To Use The Internet Safely In 2022?
No web browser can promise absolute safety and security while browsing the internet. Moreover, browsers are just one way to access the internet. Hence, it is important to exercise caution. Keeping the operating system, antivirus software, and web browsers updated, is essential to avoid older security vulnerabilities.
A device that is accessed by multiple people is often considered a security risk. Hence, internet users should avoid using services that need a username and password on a PC that's accessed by others. These include kiosks at airports, railway stations, and other public places.
Wi-Fi is another security concern, especially free Wi-Fi hotspots. Although these access points could be used to visit a few websites, it is essential to avoid any services that need payment gateways. Using personal Wi-Fi or mobile data to execute financial transactions is a safer option.
Users should also avoid responding to messages about the suspension of services, OTP requests, or approvals of permissions. These messages often contain a link that can take users to authentic-looking websites which could be running phishing scams.