If like most Maximum PC readers you’re the first person friends and family call when looking for tech advice, you might want to think twice before suggesting they move away from Internet Explorer. According to a recent report from NSS Labs, Internet Explorer 9’s dual-pronged approach to blocking malicious URLs wasn’t just slightly better than the rest; it’s pretty much night and day.
According to the study Internet Explorer 9 blocked 92 percent of all malware using its URL-based filters, and 100 percent with its application filtering. Internet Explorer 8 took second place by blocking 90 percent, while Chrome, Safari 5, and Firefox 4 all tied for third with a dismal 13 percent success rate. Google, Apple, and Mozilla’s three way tie can be explained by their joint use of Google’s Safe Browsing system, while Opera was the only major browser to score lower on the test.
Opera currently uses a URL blocking service maintained by anti-virus maker AVG, and using this list they only managed to block 5 percent of the study’s tested sites. Internet Explorer 9’s application reputation feature is a great way to help less savvy users spot potentially malicious files, however even it isn’t without a few quirks. False positives, even among Microsoft’s own add-in's have been known to occur, but better safe than sorry.
It’s worth noting that the study doesn’t take every malware prevention factor into consideration such as Chrome’s sandboxing feature, but it does highlight Microsoft’s continued commitment to improving the security of Internet Explorer. With Chrome and Firefox duking it out in the rapid release war for consumers, Microsoft’s improved security image among businesses could well cement IE’s foothold in the corporate world for decades to come.