Firefox is good for privacy

The safest browser: Test from Firefox & Co. - and special browsers for download

The question of which browser is the most secure cannot be answered unequivocally, but there are reasons that speak for and against certain programs. A little analysis.

Due to the importance of browsers, which often run all day, attackers prefer these programs in addition to Windows. If a user is not attentive and carelessly clicks on an unknown link, malicious code is infiltrated through security holes in the software. It installs itself unnoticed (so-called drive-by download). It is therefore important for the security of a browser that you keep it up to date: This is how you close security gaps. As a rule, you do not need to do anything: The major browser providers update their programs on user PCs automatically, for example with the help of a Windows background service (called "Mozilla Maintenance Service" in Firefox) or, in the case of Microsoft, via the Windows Update function (updates Edge and Internet Explorer and also the integrated, possibly outdated Adobe Flash libraries). Furthermore, sandbox technology is often used to isolate processes in browsers, which makes attacks more difficult.

The most secure browsers

Browsers from major manufacturers tend to be the safest way to surf the web. This is where the human and financial resources are available to plug security gaps promptly. It is important that automatic updates are activated so that you do not have to worry about updates. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera are among the browser flagships - you won't go wrong with them. Google is considered a data octopus, but you can change settings in Chrome that benefit privacy; for example, you can switch the address bar search to Bing. Additional clients are available as a supplement: Some browsers have dedicated themselves to surfing protection and have security advantages - be it because no chronicle is created, or because the browser under Windows (!) Virtualises (sealed off) in a window with a Linux substructure running. A few security browsers are presented below; in the second part of the overview you will find helpful add-ons with which you can make surfing the web safer:

Security browser with special functions

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Below you will find assessments by experts as well as a security benchmark that selects the most secure program among the major browsers ...

Is Firefox or Chrome more secure?

The question of the most secure browser - or whether Firefox or Chrome is more secure - cannot be given a serious answer across the board. There are always gaps in both programs, but the manufacturers have the resources to fix them quickly - and obviously do so. In addition to the number of security gaps and the time it takes for a protective update to be available, security functions are essential. Firefox has a better reputation for privacy - but according to thebestvpn.com, according to data from the National Institute of Standards and Technologies National Vulnerability Database, more loopholes. In an analysis of the site, among other things, a top 15 with programs (including operating systems) is compiled that quantifies how many gaps software had from 1999 to 2019. It is a negative leaderboard, so a poorer place has fewer gaps and is therefore better. Firefox comes in 6th place (1,873 holes), Chrome follows in the better 7th place (1,858 holes). In this view, the programs are close together. Technically, they are up-to-date, also in terms of security, and they are generally equal.

The statistics take into account a period of 20 years and show which products had how many gaps. That's not all when it comes to software security, but it is an indicator.

BSI: Firefox wins against Chrome and Microsoft

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is also addressing the issue of browser security. It has put a document online that compares Firefox 68 ESR (Extended Support Release; due to rare major updates for companies, but also suitable for private users), Chrome 76, Internet Explorer 11 and Edge 44 in a table. The paper as of September 19, 2019 is called bulky "Browser comparison table for the minimum standard of the BSI for secure web browsers". In it, the BSI only certifies Firefox ESR to meet all security requirements. In this respect, Firefox can be considered the most secure browser. If you are interested in the analysis: You can find it at bsi.bund.de and it is not too long; just a few minutes are enough to read. The PDF documentation comprises eight pages, the table extends over four pages and evaluates various aspects of the categories "Trusted Communication", "Updates", "Browser's own password manager", "Protection of trustworthy data", "Checking for harmful data", "Same -Origin-Policy "," Secure Configuration "," Minimum Rights "and" Sandboxing and Encapsulation ".

In Germany, the BSI makes security recommendations that are important. That is why the Federal Office's positive evaluation of Firefox is interesting.

Security tip: disable JavaScript

You can increase security by deactivating JavaScript, among other things: In Firefox, the associated switch is no longer included in the graphical settings in several versions; by entering about: config in the address bar and by changing the value javascript.enable on this page from "true" to "false" the shutdown still works. With Google Chrome you regulate via the address chrome: // settings / content / javascript? search = javascript fine, which websites are allowed to use JavaScript and which are not (white and blacklist principle). Despite the good options for controlling JavaScript in Chrome: It is advisable to use a browser add-on to deactivate JavaScript in both Mozilla and Google browsers. The popular NoScript makes it easy for you in Firefox. For a long time there was no NoScript for Google Chrome, which is why ScriptSafe was the method of choice, but a NoScript version for Google Chrome has now appeared (long after the Firefox equivalent was available).

Security benchmark: Firefox, Chrome & Co.

How well browsers are positioned in terms of security can be tested: browseraudit.com is a benchmark for browser security. The service checks how well security standards and functions are implemented in a browser. It takes more than 400 factors into account and shows detailed information with a click after a test. The more points a checked browser gets, the better. With the service under Windows 10 1909 (the system version is relevant for the EdgeHTML-Edge version integrated in the OS), Computerbild.de analyzed how the most important current browser versions fare:
Firefox 75: 378 Passed / 6 Warning / 0 Critical / 20 Skipped
Google Chrome 81: 374 Passed / 10 Warning / 0 Critical / 20 Skipped
Opera 67: 376 Passed / 8 Warning / 0 Critical / 20 Skipped
Internet Explorer 11: 270 Passed / 120 Warning / 0 Critical / 14 Skipped
Microsoft Edge (EdgeHTML): 358 Passed / 12 Warning / 0 Critical / 34 Skipped
Microsoft Edge (Chromium) 81: 374 Passed / 10 Warning / 0 Critical / 20 Skipped

The BrowserAudit service enables anyone interested to get an impression of the security standards of their browser.

The winners are Firefox and the Chromium-based browsers Google Chrome, Opera and Edge Chromium. Microsoft Edge is lagging behind with the EdgeHTML engine (but still relatively good compared to the bottom) and especially Internet Explorer. The fact that the Chromium-based browsers perform equally well is not surprising due to the largely identical substructure.

Special browser for special purposes

Recommendations for browsers that stand out due to interesting features for more privacy are easier to give than it is to define the most secure browser. Opera stands out in particular: the browser scores passably in the BrowserAutit test and has a VPN as an additional function. The function gives the controlled web servers a different IP address and thus disguises the origin of the user. The protective wall must be activated in the settings, the selection of the pseudo-origin is made in a menu to the right of the address bar and at continent level.
Download: Opera directly from the manufacturer Download the innovative browser now!
The Tor Browser also disguises your origin by transmitting a different IP address, which is even renewed every time it is started. Opera uses the Chromium engine, the Tor Browser is based on Firefox ESR. The latter client is not the only browser with the integration of Tor: If you want a Tor surfing client based on the fast Chromium, you can get something like that with the Brave Browser. In a menu at the top right, you can choose whether Brave Browser should open an incognito window or an incognito window with Tor obfuscation.
The Epic Privacy Browser is also based on Chromium and is characterized by the fact that it does not create a chronicle. The Yandex Browser is another technical relative to Google Chrome and has a security mode for online banking. Be aware, however, that the tool comes from Russia, which should not suit every user. Yandex only wants to activate verified extensions in its protected mode and stricter security settings should apply. Yandex also offers a setting "Use DNS server with DNSCrypt encryption".

Overview of free security programs

An important security note at the end: Although niche browsers like the ones presented here have their strengths, the big browser manufacturers are not behind them. In this respect, updates should generally arrive later than with Firefox and Google Chrome - which means that very likely gaps will remain open longer than necessary in the future. Subjectively, the programs may not offer the greatest comfort, so that many users do not want to use them as the main browser, but rather as a supplement. As such, they cut a fine figure as second or third browsers that meet special security requirements. However, as the number of browsers increases, it increases your responsibility to ensure that everything is up to date. It is similar with add-ons - they work with the large web browsers and with the smaller ones (the forks): There are protection add-ons for browser programs that increase their security. But the user has to trust the provider of such an extension. It is possible that the developer collects secret data or adds espionage functions with the next update. So security is always a matter of weighing up. This is another reason why a recommendation for THE safest browser is not possible; Security also varies, as different users use different configurations with regard to the settings and the add-on equipment (and some add-ons offer attack surfaces, although this depends on the individual case). This article can therefore only point out trends and outline the security issue.

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