Google's search engine is far and away the best choice for safe web searching, according to a recent set of security tests.
German firm AV-Test said that its most recent study of web security found that Google Search was the least likely engine to direct users to potentially malicious or risky web sites. Microsoft's Bing was second on the list.
"Google achieved the best results in the study, followed by Bing," the company said in its report.
"Attention must, however, be drawn to the fact that Bing delivered five times as many websites containing malware as Google during the study.
Also tested in the study were non-English search engines Yandex, Baidu, Blekko, Faroo and Teoma. In total, the company said that it analysed some 40 million web sites, with roughly half coming form Google and Bing.
The researchers noted that while Bing was five times more likely to return malicious search results, engines such as Yandex were 10 times more likely than Google to return search results from malicious sites.
"Malware developers are now putting more and more effort into their work, for example in order to distribute their spyware programs or Trojans," AVTest explained.
"They therefore exploit search engines for their own purposes and sneak infected websites into the top results delivered to users."
Both Google and Microsoft have worked to improve the security of their search engines and prevent attackers from gaining top standing in their search results. In addition to basic controls such as blacklisting known offenders, the firms have teamed up on efforts to prevent common attacks such as phishing pages.
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