NSS Labs issued results of its second test of web browser protection against socially engineered malware. Social engineering is a technique of deceiving Web users to receive their personal information and get profit out of it. As an example, this can be an email supposedly sent by your bank with the request to confirm your credit card details. Or it may be sent supposedly by your social network support staff and contain a link to the fake page where you should enter your username and password to verify your profile or get access to the new interface. Both credit card details and your profile details will be used by violators to get material or immaterial profit. Even the most experienced Web user can be hooked by “social engineers”. It’s needless to say that newbie can be hooked by them easily. That’s why we need protection against this way too widespread web evil.
12 days’ testing of the most popular web browsers conducted by NSS Labs showed which browsers protect users from visiting malicious web sites best of all. NSS Labs tested the latest generally available versions of web browsers and got the following results:
- Internet Explorer 8 became a leader with almost 81% protection from malware. This great result proves that SmartScreen technology is really worthwhile. The result is even more overwhelming when compared to Internet Explorer 7‘s 4% protection – IE has made a great progress.
- Firefox 3 achieved 27% catch rate against malware. This is the highest result among products based on Google SafeBrowsing API.
- Safari 4 – 21%.
- Chrome 2 – 7%.
- Opera 10 Beta as well as Opera 9 provides almost no protection with 1% catch rate.
Do you hate using Internet Explorer just like I do? Even if your answer is “yes”, this report gives cause to consider using it once again 🙂 . Meanwhile, you can download the full report here.
In a year after the record braking Firefox 3.0, Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5 to make web surfing even faster and handier.
Here are the new features of FF 3.5 and tips how to use them:
Private Browsing: surf the Web without leaving a single trace. Start to browse privately by clicking Tools > Start Private Browsing or Ctrl+Shift+P.
Forget About This Site: the option to forget about a particular web site you have visited that means all entries related to that site will be removed from your browser history. To forget a site, go to History > Show all history (or press Ctrl+Shift+H) and in the Library window right-click the site you want Firefox to forget about and select Forget About This Site.
Smooth Scrolling through Tabs: if you have a lot of tabs open, put your mouse on the row of tabs and scroll with the mouse wheel through tabs to easily find the one you need. Note that scrolling works only when you have so many tabs opened that the scrolling arrows appear on the right and on the left of tabs row.
If you have not so many tabs opened, you can try this shortcut for fast moving to the tab you need: press Ctrl + the number of tab you want to view, for example, Ctrl+2 for the second tab.
Location-Aware Browsing: Firefox 3.5 comes with a new location-aware browsing (geolocation) feature that is enabled by default. It identifies your location using your computer’s IP, Google’s random client identifier, etc. and share it with the websites that ask for location data. Don’t be scared, data isn’t shared without your permission. Any time a website asks for your location data, Firefox will show you a message so that you can choose whether you want to share or not to share geolocation data with this website. Settings you chose can be remembered for this site so that you shouldn’t click buttons every time you visit the website.
If you don’t like the idea to share your geolocation data at all, try more advanced way to solve the problem. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar, enter geo.enabled into the filter form. Double-click geo.enabled entry so that its value become “false”. Geolocation feature is now disabled for you.
Yesterday Microsoft issued the release candidate 1 for its Internet Explorer 8. So, the release is not far off and we can sum up what we’ll have with the new IE 8.
- Accelerators. Great thing to get your usual things like e-mailing, translating words or looking for address in a mapping website done faster. Select the text on a web-page, right-click the selection and select the needed item from the Accelerators list. They are:
– blog – Windows Live;
–find product – eBay;
– weather – Weather.com;
– search video – YouTube.
- Web Slices. They let you easily and quickly access dynamic Web data like weather, eBay listings, digg’s top ten pages, stock quotes, etc. The full list of Web Slices to add to IE you can find here.
- Suggested Sites. Click this item on the toolbar to see the list of sites you might like based on your browsing history. The feature can be turned on or off if needed.
- Compatibility View. Make websites designed for older browsers look better in Internet Explorer 8. Compatibility View button is next to the Refresh button on the Address Bar.
- InPrivate mode. The feature many people like about Safari and Chrome is Private browsing without saving browsing history. Now it’s also available in the Internet Explorer. Can be turned on from the Tools menu.
- Security enhancements. SmartScreen Filter for better protection against deceptive and malicious websites is in the new Internet Explorer.
Small yet great changes:
- Better tabs. They’re not only colored but also logically structured. When the tab is launched from one of already opened tabs, it’ll take the color of its parent tabs. The tabs of the same color are grouped together. New tab opens just near the parent tab, not in the other end of the browser. Also, when you create a new tab, you see not just a blank page, but the question What do you want to do next. And you can reopen closed tab, start Private browsing or use an accelerator directly from here. Also, not new but redesigned Quick Tabs button allows to view all tabs thumbnails in one tab.
- Better toolbars management. Toolbars can be closed by simply clicking X button in the left side without opening Toolbars menu. To open a toolbar again, right-click toolbars area and check the needed toolbar.
- Better Address and Search Bar. The new toolbar both predicts what web page you want to open while you’re typing a URL and group predictions by URL, Autocomplete Suggestion, History, Favorites, and Feeds.
What I miss:
- of course, a download manager, which IE developers still seem to be something unnecessary, while I need it very much.
Everyone has its own opinion – that’s natural. Firefox fans can say that almost everything IE 8 offers can be done in Firefox with add-ons. And they’ll be right. Still, I think that the new Internet Explorer is worth trying and even using. At least to know what we’ll have with the new Windows 7. And I’m sure people who’re used to browse with IE 7 will welcome new features and abilities of this web browser.
Cooperation of Mozilla and Google is long and beneficial for both sides. So, why did Mozilla decide to prefer Yandex, the leading Russian search engine, as the default search engine and start page for Russian locale builds, starting with Firefox 3.1? For now, there is no official statement of Mozilla-Yandex business agreement at Mozilla official site, but we can learn details at bugzilla.mozilla.org.
What’s the reason of dropping Google, one of the major revenue sources of Mozilla?
The most obvious reason is that Yandex has the largest market share in Russia (≈45%), while Google is #2 with ≈35% (according to reports of liveinternet.ru). Nevertheless, market share is not the one and only parameter to measure the quality of search provided by search engine. Market share is a result of skilful marketing more than of quality search. There is a great resource to analyze search quality of different search engines for both Russian and English language queries – http://analyzethis.ru. Selecting Russian query language, we’ll see that Yandex leads in most parameters of quality search. For English language, Google has better results. Even without analytics, in practice we can see that while being great in Russian, Yandex gives rather poor results in English. Thus, we can assume that most of Yandex users still switch to Google to find something outside the ru domain. So, the difference in Yandex’s and Google’s popularity in Russian market is not so big to terminate a beneficial agreement with Google.
That’s why I incline toward other reason. As it’s known, Google recently changed its software pack – Google Pack and Firefox isn’t a Google Pack default browser any more. The place of Google Pack default browser was given to… let me guess… maybe, Google Chrome?! Of course. Could there be other applicants? 😉 It’s hard to estimate Mozilla’s losses resulted from this change, but it’s easy to understand the prospect and Google’s plans for future. Chrome is and will be Google’s favorite, and this is natural – Google wants to promote its own product first.
So, maybe that’s why Mozilla’s looking for new partners…
This is a guest post from Helen Grigorieva. She is a tech writer, an author of Flash’y’mania – blog about everything concerning Flash, an assistant marketing director of international software development company, a person interested in tech and Web news and a very nice girl 🙂
The last week of the year is the best time to resume everything that happened in the tech world during the year. So, let’s look at some statistics represented as flash charts to learn what was at the top this year.
Top websites 2008
What are the most popular places of the Web world? The most popular websites according to Alexa ranking and their daily reach (% of global internet users who visit the sites):
Top search engines 2008
Search is an integral part of the Web. Search engines are the integral parts of our life. What search engines were used the most this year?
Top web browsers 2008
Thing which opens the Web for us is a web-browser. Which is the most popular this year?
Top software 2008
Top software of this year is evidently various anti-virus programs. What else was in greatest demand this year?
Top PC games 2008
Of course, computer world can’t be imagined without games. Leaders of this year among the PC games are below:
That’s how computer world lived this year.
Charts are created with Animated Chart software.
Today, Google announced that their Chrome leaves beta. This was really fast – about three month to make browser stable and fast enough to take off ‘beta’ label. It is a little strange for me to see Chrome 1.0 because major release must introduce new features, and Chrome 1.0 doesn’t. Yes, Chrome is rather fast and stable, but it still doesn’t have such important features as add-ons and built-in RSS reader, although everyone expected them to be in a non-beta version. So, what’s the hurry? It’s easy to understand – beta version can’t be preinstalled on a new computers. So, now we can expect that Google will try to conclude contracts with OEM (original equipment manufacturers). Maybe, your next computer will be with preinstalled Chrome :).
In spite of all unfinished tasks, let’s congratulate Chrome developers with the 1.0 version and wish them to make Chrome even better. Chrome 1.0 can be downloaded from here.