Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I view site xyz?
Some sites are highly dependent on javascript and/or flash. Because we move practically all javascript and flash controls from viewed pages, as well as java applets, activex and silverlight controls, sites that have a huge dependency on these types of objects will not display properly.

Why can't I send an email, add a comment, click on like on site xyz?
Sites can be viewed passively or interacted with actively. This first version of SafeBrowser does not yet allow for much site interaction (adding comments, share or sending from the page etc), although it does allow some. SafeBrowser at the moment is mainly meant to be used as a passive reader of websites, especially those you may not know or trust so well. If while reading pages on a site the web site advisory advises that the site is okay and you really need to, you can click the button to view the site outside of SafeBrowser and then interact with it normally. Support for the more interactive features is in active development. Please check back soon.

Why do you advise not to do shopping or banking using SafeBrowser
SafeBrowser is a general browsing service. Use it to browse or view sites that you don't regularly visit or are not too sure about. SafeBrowser supports secure (https) sites, but to operate properly the service has to intercept your https connection so that it can analyse the html being returned and strip out anything that could cause harm. So for your security and ours (we don't want hackers trying to hack our services in order to capture your sensitive data) we advise not sending sensitive data such as passwords or credit card details using the SafeBrowser service.
P.S. That doesn't apply to our subscription service. That is fully secured and your credit card data is sent to and held by Stripe, our payment processor.

Why don't videos and photo slideshows work?
As stated above, SafeBrowser is pretty much limited in this initial version to the passive viewing of information on sites. It doesn't yet handle more advanced features such as videos and photo slideshows.

The SafeBrowser service is pretty much an anonymizing web proxy server, isn't it?
Not quite, although we share a few characteristics of web proxy servers. The SafeBrowser service does anonymously retrieve web pages from target servers, then modify those pages to make them safe and to allow them to display properly within the SafeBrowser browser. The other thing we deliberately do is send the addresses of the sites you wish to view in clear text. This may allow organisations or ISPs to block certain sites you want to visit without blocking SafeBrowser entirely.

Who built this service and why?
Mark Duesbury, the original architect of this service, built this service over the last two years. He was actually trying to build a quite different service where part of that service required previewing pages inside a single web browser page, as SafeBrowser now does. He discovered then that loading pages in this manner could be quite a security risk if all the javascript was included, so he set about building a service that would remove all the javascript, except the javascript known to be okay. Hence SafeBrowser was born. A lot of people have helped out since then (and this would be a good time to say thank you to them all.. Thanks guys, and girls!).

I'm viewing a site with some pretty tame javascript that is being removed by SafeBrowser, can I have it added to your library of good javascript?
Sure, please email us at with details. We'll do our best to look into it and get it added in a timely manner.