Safe search engines
A recent study by German IT security firm AV-Test has found that Google is safer to use than many of its competitors.
The 18 month project reviewed nearly 40 million websites delivered by search engines Google, Bing and the globally used Yandex, Blekko, Faroo, Teoma and Baidu to examine whether sites including Malware appeared in search results seen by users. It found that links to malicious sites appeared in:
- 0.0025 percent of Google's results
- 0.012 percent of Bing's results
- 0.024 percent of Yandex's results
- 0.0067 percent of Blekko's results
The results suggest that Bing search results contain five times more malicious links than Google, while Yandex contains twice as many as Bing, and 10 times more than Google.
Markus Selinger at AV-Test, said: "Although search engine operators such as Google and Bing make a lot of effort to avoid doing so, they sometimes deliver websites infected with Trojans and similar Malware among their top search results."
Where are these links to malicious sites?
The study revealed that the highest number of malicious websites was found in news-related search results, where users are less suspicious and more likely to quickly click on results. It also suggested that this Malware typically exploits out-of-date browsers, add-ons and PDF readers, which if kept up-to-date, can reduce a user's susceptibility to infection.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: "The results aren't too high, so users should feel completely comfortable using the search engines while on the web. However, the numbers do provide a clear indication into the effort Google puts into providing users with a safe search experience."