I think it’s safe to say that I am more aware of security issues than most users out there. I don’t open unknown attachments, I don’t run scripts or executables unless I know what they are and where they came from, and I don’t install weird apps that mess with my system. So when visiting a site with Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP SP2 installed links directly into my start menu without so much as a dialog box asking me if it would be alright, I knew it was time for a better browser. I installed Firefox, and was happy with it for quite some time. I only ran a couple of add-ons, and didn’t use them much because I often switched machines, and they weren’t always configured the same, but I was happy with the speed and security I was getting.

When Internet Explorer 7 came out, I tried it out, but mostly stuck with Firefox for my everyday surfing. When Internet Explorer 8 came out with it’s beta, I tried it out, and it actually piqued my interest. As far as the features I used in Firefox, everything was there. In addition, I tried out the accelerators, and especially liked the translation tool, which made it a lot easier to translate my wife’s blog. I also heard a lot about the standards support, and the increased security they had built in. I’ve been running IE8 as my main browser for quite some time now, and it’s great to see that it looks like I made the right choice.

In a recent study, the security of the most popular browsers was tested by NSS Labs, focusing on the Mean Block Rate for Socially Engineered Malware, and Phishing. Internet Explorer 8 came out on top for both tests. Internet Explorer 8’s SmartScreen Filter has blocked over 80 million malware blocks, including the pre-release versions, and delivers a malware block for around 1 out of every 40 users, every week. Check out the links to see the details of the report.

If you’ve been thinking about checking out Internet Explorer 8, a great place to start is the Internet Explorer 8 Online Challenge from Microsoft Singapore. It only takes five minutes to run through, and it gives a great overview of the new features built in to the latest version of the browser.