Browser Standards and Security

Friday, September 30, 2011

When designing a Web site it is important to consider how the users will see the Web page. There are many browsers available that a user could be using to view your Web site. Consideration of the standards between each browser is important. There are so many browsers available on the market that the Web page that has been created could, and, most probably will look different on every browser. Some browsers handle certain scripting languages better than others e.g. Mozilla Firefox has no problems handling animated gifts as rollovers on buttons, whereas Internet Explorer 5 cannot handle them and will not display them correctly or may not display them at all. In section 2 of this report will discuss the standards between browsers, browsers available and how the browsers handle the HTML language in different ways. This section will also show the usage between the most popular browsers and will display the statistics as a pie chart with each chunk representing a different browser. In section 3 of this report, will discuss the security risks from both the client side and server side and will list the top ten vulnerabilities that a Web site must overcome to stay protected. This section will also display the statistics of security risks in a bar chart. Section 4 discusses how the information that is in this report will be used in the main project.

Section 5 is the conclusion of all the information that has been gathered to make this report and how it can be used to create a better compatible and secure Web site.

As the internet was created to unite the world into one inter connecting community, the use of so many different browsers that view Web pages in different ways makes it harder for a Web designer to create a Web site and it can stop users seeing a Web page in the same way. When designing a Web site, the designer must test their pages in different browsers to check the outcome of that page. With so many browsers available, it is important to consider which browsers to test for and how many past browser versions need to be catered for within the designs.

As technology has advanced, the situation has improved to that of a few years ago but the problem has not been completely resolved. You can now be confident that at least 99% of users have browsers that support nearly all of HTML 4. However, there are still inconsistencies in the way Cascading Style Sheets are implemented and older browser versions pre-dating the current standards take a long time to fade away entirely. A Web site designer must now also consider the mobile user; phones, PDAs and other handheld media devices that have access to the internet. The browser that these devices use will be a variant of a standard browser but the user will view the pages on a much smaller screen. A mobile browser, also called a micro browser, mini browser or wireless internet browser (WIB) are optimised so as to display Web content most effectively for small screens on portable devices. Mobile browser software must also be small and efficient to accommodate the low memory capacity and low-bandwidth of wireless handheld devices. Typically, they were stripped-down Web browsers but as of 2006 some mobile browsers can handle latest technologies such as CSS 2.1, JavaScript and Ajax. Jennifer Niederst Robbins (2006) says;

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