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Apple Sends Windows Users on a Safari into Dangerous Territory

A lot of Windows users have installed Apple's Safari browser since Apple began pushing it to users this spring. Here's why it's time to put it aside - at least for now.

Apple's been anxious to build market share for its Safari browser, and with most of the world's PCs still running Windows, it began pushing Safari to Windows users earlier this year. Although Apple stopped making Safari a default "Yes" choice in its Apple Updater program (a familiar sight to users of iTunes and QuickTime), many Windows users have installed and tried Safari in recent months.

Unfortunately, Safari lacks safeguards that other browsers, such as IE and Firefox, have by default: it downloads everything offered to it by a website without checking with the user. And, to make matters worse, the default location used by the Windows version of Safari is the Windows desktop!

This shortcoming, along with two others spotted by security expert Nitesh Dhanjani, make Safari a very dangerous product for Windows users. So dangerous, in fact, that Microsoft issued a security advisory (953818) late last week encouraging users to restrict their use of Safari. Microsoft's working on a fix, but Apple's reaction? Essentially, a variation on the old joke, "it's not a bug, but a feature."