Apple catches up on Safari (browser) security

After years of lagging behind on important security features, Apple has finally added a malware-blocker, a phishing filter and support for EV (extended validation) certificates into the latest refresh of its Safari Web browser.The malware roadblock headlines a list of Safari 4 security features that also includes cookie blocking, private browsing, secure encryption, safe downloads and parental controls.

After years of lagging behind on important security features, Apple has finally added a malware-blocker, a phishing filter and support for EV (extended validation) certificates into the latest refresh of its Safari Web browser.

The malware roadblock headlines a list of Safari 4 security features that also includes cookie blocking, private browsing, secure encryption, safe downloads and parental controls.

[ SEE: PayPal: If a browser doesn't have anti-phishing technology (like Safari) ditch it ]

Apple has been heavily criticized in the past for neglecting basic security features in Safari.   PayPal CIO Michael Barrett went so far as to suggest that end users should avoid the browser because of the missing protections.

Now, it looks like Apple has finally caught up.   According to a source, the crucial malware block is powered by Google's blacklist of malicious sites and will trigger a warning when a user lands at known malware sites.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox and Opera all provide the ability to issue similar warnings.

The support for EV-Certs (see right) is also important. This allows Web surfers to easily identify legitimate Web sites and businesses. For sites that have an EV Certificate, Safari 4 will display the site’s name in green on the right side of the address field.