There is a competition where people try to hack web browsers (they call it Pwn2own) , the winners get thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Below are the results of the competition. It says a lot about which web browsers are safer than others:
- Safari running on Mac OS X – hacked in 10 seconds
- FireFox running on Windows – hacked
- IE 8 running on Windows – hacked
- Chrome running on Windows – was not hacked
When a web browser is hacked (like in this competition), it means someone out there in the real world can do things on your computer, such as installing a virus or taking control of your PC.
You can see photos of the winners here. These are talented people that are using their skills to help developers fix their browsers. There are many more people who use their hacking skills to install malware and steal money from people’s bank accounts (this isn’t just about winning competitions).
The best thing you can do right now is:
- Stop using Internet Explorer (IE) for everything.
- Use Google’s Chrome as much as possible, at the moment it seems to be the most secure browser
- Keep updating your web browser – the latest updates are there to fix up bugs and security vulnerabilities
- Keep updating Windows (or Mac OS X or Linux) whenever a new update is released.
- Install a good anti-virus package that blocks web sites that have malware on them. This might cost you a bit of money (you usually have to pay a yearly subscription fee) and it’s a good investment.
- Don’t be ignorant and assume it won’t happen to you.
- Keep reading Fraudo to learn about online fraud and what you can do to prevent it.