Browsers are the gateway to the Internet. They allow a computer to access the vast pool of information and resources on www. But at the same time web browsers are also the biggest vulnerability to your PC Security.

Most of the modern day browser are on the constant look out for the vulnerabilities and security holes present in their codes. As soon as they find any weakness, they try to develop a patch and push it for the download by the users so that they are safe from the online threats.

And the efficacy of the browser to protect its users from online threats and malware is dependent upon the speed with which, it detects the vulnerability, develop a patch and makes it available for download by the users.  It is one of the factors, on which one should decide which is the safest internet browser.

A recent study by Symantec shows that Safari is the weakest browser among the popular web browsers on this account. They have devised a metric called average window of exposure to measure it. It is the difference in days between the time when exploit code affecting a vulnerability is made public and the time when the affected vendor makes a patch publicly available for that vulnerability. During this time, the computer or system on which the affected application is deployed may be susceptible to attack.

The average window of exposure for Safari was 13 days, based on a sample set of 78 patched vulnerabilities, while it was considerably lower for the other web browsers. And the worst part is that this period of exposure has increased in past one year. See the figure.

web browser safety

[Complete Report – pdf, 4MB]