There was news a few days back that Germany is now recommending that NO ONE use Internet Explorer anymore and that EVERYONE should switch to other browsers for security reasons. This was in response to the Chinese government hackers using IE flaws to hack into Google.

Now France is recommending the same thing.

Microsoft has protested, of course, stating that the problem is a combination of people not upgrading and people using too lax a security setting. And they’re mostly correct. But they’re fighting an uphill battle due to:

  • A poor history
  • Being a very, very, very large target
  • Having a security model that confuses users
  • High security disabling IE-specific features that Microsoft has taught users to rely on

So is every other browser more secure then IE? No.

Security researchers think the IE security model, when set to High by a user, is actually pretty good. But most users won’t set it there or leave it there. And because IE/Windows is the dominant target, it’s the favorite of hackers.

Do you want to run the most secure browser on the planet? The only one security researchers have never cracked? Run Google Chrome.

Do you want to run a browser which security researchers have cracked but doesn’t get much attention from hackers? Run Firefox.

Do you want to run a browser which security researchers have cracked but gets zero attention from hackers? Run Safari or Opera.

The reason that Chrome is so special is because it was engineered to “sandbox” the code that renders pages and executes JavaScript from both the rest of the browser and the operating system. Even if you bust the web security model you can’t get outside of the sandbox. Well, not yet anyway. The next version of Firefox is slated to use the same model. Safari or Opera? No announced plans.

So you can expect, especially in EU governments, to see Chrome and Firefox market share pick up.