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Updated Browser Test

Friday, November 30th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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Q:
Is there any way I can check my Web browser for security? I’m just interested in knowing where it stands. Thanks for any advice you can give me!

A:
That’s an excellent question and I commend you for asking! Most of us use a Web browser on a daily basis and if you think about it, all of our security is wrapped up in it. I mean, we use our browser to do all sorts of things, like shop online, play games, sign up for contests, create profiles, read newsletters and so on and so forth. No matter what we’re doing, our personal information is making its way onto the Web. These days, we do it without even thinking. We give out our e-mail address to sign up for that daily newsletter, we type in our credit card number to win that eBay auction, we give out our age for that profile on MySpace, etc., etc.

All of those things are so common to do in this day and age, but we seldom stop and think about the risks we’re taking by doing so. And since all of that is done through our Web browser, it’s pertinent to know how secure it really is. If you recall, awhile back, we ran a download for a program called Scanit (you can read the original article here if you’d like). Well, since then, the Scanit company has updated their browser security test and that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you all about today!

If you’ve used Scanit before, you’re definitely going to want to check out the update, because it is ten times better than before! Or, if you’ve never tested your browser, there will never be a better time to start. Scanit’s new browser security test comes with a brand new testing engine, including 12 “never before seen” tests. These new tests will check for vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and even in Flash and QuickTime.

To get to the testing area, go to this Web site. When you get there, look toward the bottom and you will see some information about your browser. Listed there will be your browser’s name, the version you’re using and the operating system you have. For example, mine said MSIE (Microsoft Internet Explorer), version 6.0 and Windows XP. Yours may be different, depending on what all you use. Below that, you can choose what you would like the test to check for. You can choose between “Only test for bugs specific to my type of browser,” “Run all available tests” or “Choose individual tests.” Click the one you want and then hit the Start the Test link.

For mine, I chose “Run all available tests,” but do what you want. If all else fails, you can always go back and do another test if the one you choose doesn’t do exactly what you expected. Once you start the test, you will get a Caution! message. It’s just there to let you know that the test will try to crash your browser and that you should close out any other browser windows you have open at the time. You can only test one browser at a time, so if you want to test more than one, just do them separately. Once you read through the message, click OK to continue on with the test.

The Scanit program will then go through all 12 of the new tests. It takes a little while to go through them all, so just be patient. You may want to go grab another cup of coffee while you’re waiting! Now, if your browser crashes during the test, just close it down and go right back to the Scanit Web site. It will then ask you if your browser crashed. Click Yes. You will see a few of your results, but just click the Continue the Test link to finish it out.

The test will then finish and you will be given your results. Everything next to a green checkmark means it’s in good condition, while everything with a red X means there’s a vulnerability. If you have any vulnerabilities, don’t panic! Keep scrolling down and you will see a detailed explanation of the problem. Scanit gives you a description and some recommendations on what you can do to fix it. The Scanit test will give you the information you need to know about what’s affecting your Web browser from being completely secure, along with what you can do to take care of the problem right away. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Give this security test a try today and see how your Web browser measures up when it comes to safety!

~ Erin

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