Firefox slams Chrome again in our trustworthy browser poll

Filed Under: Apple, Apple Safari, Featured, Firefox, Google, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Web Browsers

Composite image of browser logos and champion's cup from ShutterstockWe asked Naked Security readers which web browser you trust the most - and we got more than 3,400 votes in our poll.

The biggest group of respondents - 48% - said Firefox is the browser they trust the most, with 700 more votes than second-place Chrome with 27%.

Internet Explorer (7.4%) was just edged out by Safari (8%) for the third spot, with Opera (5%) getting the fifth spot.

Finally, there were around 5% who voted "other" and gave us write-in answers like Chromium, Tor, Pale Moon, Comodo Ice, Seamonkey, Lynx, and - tellingly - "none."

results-trusted-web-browser-480

These results are very similar to what we found out a year ago when we asked the same question - and Firefox similarly burned Chrome for first place.

What's really interesting is what readers of our post here on Naked Security and on our Facebook page said in the comments.

Commenter "Paul" said he doesn't trust any of them:

browser-comment-none-of-above

I don't trust any of them, I use throw away virtual machines quite often.

Other comments on our Facebook page reflected similar sentiments from people who don't trust any major web browser when it comes to handling security and privacy on top of all their internet browser needs.

Facebook commenter Glenn Hurse gave an impassioned response, saying he uses Chrome because it fits his needs comfortably, but he would not trust it:

facebook-glenn-hurse

TRUST? none.. What do you mean by TRUST? Do I trust that it will not relay my usage info to a 3rd party? Do I trust it to not allow some bug to attack my PC? Do I trust that the available add ons are safe, malware free or not malware prone? Do I trust that it will not crash in the middle of something no no real reason? Do I trust that the browser will live up to the the marketing, Fan-boy or new user hype? Or do I trust the Browser with my daughter to be home safe at 10pm?

The answer is the same.. NO!!

Chrome, Firefox, Ice dragon, Safari, Opera, etc All have issues that will cause us some level off concern at some time or another..

But I use chrome NOT because I trust it.. but it is like an old shoe.. it is comfortable and a couple of its extensions are helpful.. .. And I will not let it date my daughter...

So who you gonna trust?

We also received a lot of positive comments about ways our readers increase their privacy through add-ons and browser controls.

For example, commenter "Bear" said to use Firefox with NoScript, Adblock Plus, Safe Preview and KeePass for password management rather than the browser.

Improve your online privacy and security by keeping up to date with operating system updates and make sure you use an anti-virus.

And, we hope you'll continue to get all the best security and privacy advice from us at Naked Security ... stay safe!


Image of champion's cup courtesy of Shutterstock.

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14 Responses to Firefox slams Chrome again in our trustworthy browser poll

  1. LonerVamp · 92 days ago

    Definitely Firefox. While I don't ultimately trust any of them, I do appreciate and leverage the ability to turn off scripts (and not just all but what Google wants to leave on in Chrome; don't make my decisions for me).

    I do go the extra step of only browsing the general Internet (when at home) on a Linux box running Firefox+NoScript. Even if something pops Firefox, chances are it's tailored to dig into Windows, and not my OS of choice. Limit add-ons, limit what scripts are allowed based on where I am.

    Not sure how other choices actually pass muster.

  2. Dave · 92 days ago

    What kind of lunatic trusts Chrome, which even Google admits is spyware? Have people finally thrown in the towel and decided to jam on the gas and speed towards 1984, just to see how bad it can get? Perhaps out of pure intellectual curiosity?

    Maybe people have watched so many dystopian sci-fi movies that they are actually looking forward to that kind of future. Hell, let's start arming the Roombas too...what's the worst that could happen?

  3. Anonymous · 92 days ago

    "Firefox slams Chrome again in our trustworthy browser poll". Another misleading title... You could have said "Firefox slams other browsers again" (not only Chrome, which by the way did not do too bad compared to others), or better: "Open Source browser slams others again".

    • Jake · 89 days ago

      The numbers show what it always was, a straight race between FF and Chrome, with the others fairly insignificant. The only problem with the title is the "trustworthy" when the poll asked what people trust-ed - not the same thing at all, and I would suspect few of those who voted can be trusted to properly judge which is more worthy of their trust.

      I know I'm not at all sure which is really better, and despite making an effort to keep up with the technical and ethical sides of each, monitor breaking problems, use the latest privacy and security add-ons etc, I really go with whichever feels nicest, seems fastest, and has the best reputation at the time.

      That's when I have a choice at least, still wrestling with a (major brand corporate) banking site that only works in IE, which always fails on all three criteria.

      • Paul Ducklin · 89 days ago

        I think its fair to say that if you ask a person if they trust browser X, you are asking if they think it's trustworthy :-)

        Also, the headline (and the article) make it clear that this is a trustworthiness *poll*. In other words, it's what our readers think, not an attempt to compare browsers technically to produce an objective metric of trustworthiness.

  4. PC Friendly · 91 days ago

    You can call the poll whatever you want. What it really is...is "What is the browser you happen to click on?" It rarely has anything to do with trust, security, or anything else for that matter. Shove adblock, do not track, and a few other protections and most are equal (other than those that don't allow add-ons, extensions, etc.). Beyond that, nothing beats safe surfing, updating Java (if you have to use it) and Flash, doing your Security patches/updates...and just paying attention to what you click on. About the only browser I'm truly avoiding these days is IE....humorously enough.

  5. FaceBook Nein Danke! · 91 days ago

    "Other comments on our Facebook page reflected similar sentiments from people who don't trust any major web browser when it comes to handling security and privacy"

    Anyone else see the irony? People don't trust any Browser, but never-the-less use Facebook?

    (and there are other means of communicating available)

  6. Habeas Corpus · 91 days ago

    It's interesting that I haven't seen anybody mention running an 'HTTPS only' addon on their browser, 'self destructing cookies' for timed cookie and cache removal on inactive windows, or 'Ghostery' to block the profusion of webpage embedded bugs and beacons greedily tracking every move...?

    However, I admit I am also rather taken with the concept of using throw away virtual machines...very useful and very easy to set up.

  7. Bill Paulson · 91 days ago

    The real question is "what browser sets up a containment sand box in memory" then do the comparison.

    • Paul Ducklin · 90 days ago

      I think you'll find that all major browsers use a "sandbox" these days.

      The browser process effectively throws away some or many of the OS privileges that the user who started the browser would usually have. That way, as well as having checks _inside_ the browser to ensure that (say) plugin X doesn't read data from local file Y, you have the environment _outside_ the browser preventing unwanted file access, too. In other words, the "sandbox" means, in theory, that even if an attacker completely takes over your browser process, forces it to bypass its own checks, and insists that it does something dodgy...

      ...the sandbox containment may very well stop the dodginess anyway. So now the attacker has to trick your browser *and* the OS beyond it.

  8. Nigel · 89 days ago

    I'm one of the (apparently) small minority who use SeaMonkey, although I occasionally use WebKit nightly builds or Chromium. Firefox has lost its luster for me, especially since Mozilla got politically correct.

    I use various combinations of DoNotTrackMe, NoScript, and Ghostery, depending on compatibility. I also rely on Little Snitch to monitor my connections. I'm gradually moving all my password management to KeePassX rather than using the browsers' built-in password managers. Every once in while I delete all my cookies.

    To me, "trustworthy" means "what am I willing to use". I'm not sure I completely trust anything, but I feel a lot better about having the Sophos AV on-access scanner running in the background.

  9. 3414 responses out of how many million internet users? The most statistically insignificant opinion poll I have ever encountered. It is totally meaning,ess

    • Paul Ducklin · 89 days ago

      Actually, it's a survey of Naked Security readers rather than "every internet user in the world." If polls with 1000s of respondents can be used, apparently with some success, for things like, say, elections in countries the size of, say, the UK, then I think "totally meaningless" is a bit of petulant thing to say.

      I think it's interesting, if not outright important, that many of the readers who voted for Firefox weren't using it...I wouldn't call that meaningless. At the least I'd call it 'food for thought."

  10. Seamonkey 4ever · 52 days ago

    Seamonkey!!! It integrates mail AND web browsing into one program. There was another browser - can't remember it's name - which allowed you to use the rendering engine of ie, Chrome and Firefox. You clicked on a button to switch.

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About the author

John Zorabedian is a blogger, copywriter and editor at Sophos. He has a background in journalism, writing about technology, business, politics and culture. He lives and works in the Boston area.