According to a recent report, Google Chrome is the most vulnerability-ridden browser of all the major players. Chrome also happens to be the most popular browser in the world, accounting for over 60% of usage according to most sources, which means that a larger number of people are at risk until the bugs are fixed.
Every browser suffers from these security weaknesses from time to time, including the increasingly popular Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox, but Chrome has had a startlingly high number of weaknesses in 2022. The vulnerability report from Atlas VPN summarized data found in the VulDB vulnerability database. In this year alone, 303 vulnerabilities have been detected in Google Chrome. Firefox came in a distant second with 117, while 103 were found in Edge, and only 26 in Safari.
Unfortunately, similar rankings appear when comparing these browsers for all time. Since Google Chrome was first launched, it has racked up 3,159 vulnerabilities according to the VulDB data, Firefox has 2,361, Safari takes third place with 1,239, and Edge has 806. It’s worth noting that Edge is a much newer browser than the rest, so an all-time comparison isn’t as necessarily fair.
In both the 2022 and all-time reports, a lesser-known browser, Opera, was surprisingly secure with no known vulnerabilities in 2022 and only 344 since it first launched in 1995. That averages out to less than 13 vulnerabilities each year over its 27 years of serving webpages to the 1% to 2% of people that use this underappreciated browser worldwide.
That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should switch from Google Chrome to Opera. In fact, it’s certainly possible that Google is being more proactive about detecting and resolving issues than others, resulting in a higher ranking. Google’s argument is that more vulnerabilities fixed each is a sign of greater investment in the browser’s security, with the company seeking to identify and fix more issues every year — not less.
Either way, it’s a good reminder mindful about which websites you visit and to keep your browser updated to avoid loss of data and to help prevent viruses.
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