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Old November 11, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Default browser security question

I've always wondered how safe it is to have open tabs or windows on other sites when doing your banking or other secure transactions. Like the guy in this pic after the steam forums were hacked, he's got his banking open along with other windows in what appears to be Chrome. Even I don't trust Chrome enough yet to use it for banking, am I just paranoid? Is there any threat to having all those tabs open while banking on a https site?
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Old November 17, 2011, 08:11 AM
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Take this as the usual unreliable Internet advise because I admit to not being an expert in Internet security.

I think the biggest concern you can have with private and public stuff in the same tabs is accidentally entering private information into the other tabs (e.g. copy pasting some information between tabs by accident). There's always the risk that one of the "bad" tabs you have opened has just put a virus or other malware on your computer which is now tracking all your actions, but that can happen whether you use lots of tabs or not. Unless I'm mistaken, the only way information can "leak" between tabs is you, malware, [EDIT: bugs], or another compromised piece of hardware between you and the bank leaks it, because the tabs are simply displaying what you've downloaded from different web pages at once. The other thing to note if you use lots of tabs is that you may forget to log off and therefore leave your banking or other private session open for longer than it has to be.

I don't trust Chrome enough to use it for anything other than Google services I don't use it as a browser - more like an interface to gMail / Google Docs / etc. At least when using it for those services I already know my every action is being tracked by Google and Chrome doesn't change anything.
"The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself." [src]
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Old November 17, 2011, 09:35 AM
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actually, chrome's process sandboxing, which was designed to isolate crashes and such, probably also helps make it more secure then most other browsers out there. But *connections* between tabs can't be hijacked, simply. for example if you have a malicious site open, and a banking site, their respective connections between them can't be mingled. I also believe tabs aren't aware of the existence of other tabs from a remote point of view . Can tabs be screenscraped between each other? Maybe, but that would involve a local piece of malware I would think, nothing remote could do that. In which case you have more to worry about then what browser is being insecure ;)

Simple answer is no. I don't believe there's any issue with having multiple tabs open while banking.
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