Microsoft has launched a new tool designed to warn users if they are running out-of-date or insecure browsers.
YourBrowserMatters.org uses data from the firm's Security Intelligence Report and organisations such as Anti-Phishing League and Online Trust Alliance in order to provide a score out of four to show how secure the user's browser is.
Roger Capriotti, director or Internet Explorer product marketing, explained in a blog post that some of the biggest threats today are socially engineered malware threats which target vulnerabilities in out-of-date browsers.
"These attacks are particularly nefarious because they manipulate people into taking actions, such as downloading software that may harm them or their PC by corrupting their computer with a virus, collecting confidential information, or stealing files," he added.
"Attacks like these accounted for 45 per cent of computer infections according to the Security Intelligence Report [SIR] and they are exactly the types of attacks modern browsers help protect against."
The SIR, launched yesterday, found that 99 per cent of security threats in the wild are preventable through actions such as patching systems with the latest updates, user education and turning off auto-run.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship Internet Explorer browser comes out top according to YourBrowserMatters.org, with a score of 4 out of 4. IE8 gets a 3 while IE7 gets a 1.
Interestingly, however, the latest version of rival browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are given scores of just 2.5 and 2 respectively.
Microsoft posted a detailed FAQ on the scoring methodology, no doubt in expectation of disagreement over its appraisal of its rivals.
"Security scores like this are often the subject of much scrutiny, and there is certainly no single test that can perfectly summarise all aspects of browser security," Capriotti admitted.
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