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Safari, Opera Browsers Fail To Use "Silent" Patching Techniques

It seems that users of Apple Safari and Opera web browsers are highly susceptible to latest online threats owing to the way their patch updates are downloaded while users of Google Chrome and Mozila Firefox are relatively well protected.

According to a new study conducted by Google Switzerland and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, nearly 97 percent of Chrome users and around 85 percent of Firefox user were browsing the internet using the latest version of their browser, 21 days after its release.

In contrast only 53 percent of Safari users had the latest version of the browser while the figure for Opera users stood at mere 24 percent. A major cause for this difference owes to the fact that both Chrome and Firefox checks for automatic updates and implements them without user intervention.

In contrast, Apple Safari allows it users to set an update schedule while Opera users have to manually download a new installer program when a new version is available.

Incidentally one must note that Chrome’s auto update feature cannot be disabled and it is no surprise that it comes across as the most protected browser; however it still has a long way to go as far as market share is concerned since it just holds 2 percent share of the browser market.

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Our Comments

Although the research was conducted by Google, its conclusions hold ground. Silent patching allows for regular, seamless upgrades without interfering too much with the browsing experience of the user. Most current browsers have better patching processes than a couple of years ago and the safest way to improve your web security is still to get the latest browser.

Related Links

Apple, Opera Slammed Over Browser Patch Regimes

(PC World)

Safari, Opera Users Lag Behind in Security Updates

(The Washington Post)

IE & Opera losing market share, Firefox, Safari & Chrome gaining

(Geek.com)

Safari, Opera browsers patch-shy, says study

(The Register)

Study says silent updates enhance security

(The H Security)

Report: Using silent updates boosts browser security

(The Tech Herald)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.