To be honest I had to read the report twice before I could believe it. Internet Explorer has always had it’s share of security flaws (amongst many others) – and this is what made room for Firefox, Opera and Chrome to step in and give browser security the attention that IE wasn’t. The recent study done by NSS Labs, which ran the most recent versions of the most popular web browsers – Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer – through a socially engineered malware (SEM) test. SEM is the most common type of malware at the moment. If you haven’t been infected with it yourself, you almost certainly know someone who has, by virtue of clicking on a bad link through Facebook, Twitter, Email, or other program. The links download malware onto your computer, often masquerading as a screen saver, antivirus program, or my all time favorite: an anti-spyware application.
What did the results look like? Internet Explorer blew every other browser out of the water by blocking SEM links almost 99% of the time – while Google’s Chrome browser took 2nd place with a mere 13.2% block rate.
What does this mean for us webmasters?
In a nutshell it means that, most likely, Internet Explorer usage will go up among your visitors – however this isn’t completely a bad thing. Unlike IE6, IE7 and IE8, IE9 renders the web as good as Chrome and Firefox do – and this latest report from NSS Labs will help motivate those who are still using an oudated IE install to upgrade to the latest version. For you this, hopefully, means less IE6/7/8 visitors – and less time doing CSS work twice just to make it all work in these older browsers.