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I want to know is it safe to click on an image on facebook to be displayed in my browser, ( in case it's a real image and not a link to external URL). I'm asking about facebook especially and all websites generally.

Is there is any risks in this or it's safe?

  • Could you clarify what you mean by "it's a real image and not a link to external URL" and what kind of risks you are concerned about? – Arminius Jun 3 '17 at 1:19
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    There's always a small chance that someone has discovered a zero day exploit that would cause clicking on an image to be an unsafe thing to do, but this is an exceptionally rare thing compared to all the other security threats out there. – David Jun 3 '17 at 2:23
  • Here's an example of such an attack: hotforsecurity.bitdefender.com/blog/… – David Jun 3 '17 at 2:28
  • @Arminius : I mean when I click the image, its just displayed larger by the web browser and doesn't redirect to another web page. – darroosh Jun 3 '17 at 9:44
  • Just unplug your PC, wrap yourself in tinfoil and then start living in a cage. It solved all my security problems. Even tho sometimes bears attack... – BlueWizard Jun 3 '17 at 22:40
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David has a valid point about image-based exploits (we did see a few) - but those are the kind of threats where ordinary folk can't keep losing sleep on.

Mainstream browsers are mostly safe if you only open the image. Do make sure -

  1. that you're not opening the image in an untrusted site's html page. You did mention this - direct image link, not an external html page. Be wary of being redirected from what looks like an image link though.
  2. to protect against script attacks after redirection, use a script-blocker (like NoScript) or ad-blocker (like uBlock Origin and/or uMatrix).

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