A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music, games and other information typically located on a Web page at a Web site on the World Wide Web.
From a security perspective, there are two potential problems we need to defend against, while still allowing the user to access useful information:
- A web browser can be used to install malware.
- A web browser can be used to transmit information that the user would prefer to keep private. Sometimes a user wants to give information to one legitimate web site (the web site of their bank, or a commercial web site like eBay or Amazon). But that information ends up elsewhere.
- some fraudulent web sites trick the user into thinking it is that legitimate web site.
- Every machine between the user and the legitimate web site, can listen to the traffic between them. (using "https" SSL encryption makes this traffic look like meaningless gibberish to outsiders).
- Sometimes one company takes information that the user gives it, and then "shares" that information with other companies. Sometimes this information is transferred in a cookie.
- ↑ "Are the Browser Wars Back? How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer." by Paul Boutin 2004
- ↑ "Time to Dump Internet Explorer" by Scott Granneman, 2004
- ↑ "Safe Personal Computing" by Bruce Schneier, 2004
- ↑ "Securing Microsoft Windows (for Home and Small Business Users)" by David A. Wheeler, 2008
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 FireFox Users Targeted By Rare Piece Of Malware. BleepingComputer.com