Keeping open many browser tabs - a security risk?

From a security viewpoint, is it risky to keep a bunch of browser tabs open over several days on my computer (any OS)? Let’s please brainstorm some possible risks please as I get asked this often.

Few points:

  • From browser security view, as long as you update your browser by restarting when the “Restart to update” button pops up, you should be fine from browser-related vulnerabilities

  • From a website point of view, many websites keep cookies for a long period of time as long as you are logged in, so if, let’s say your computer is compromised, the attackers can take your cookies and log in to that particular service as you. So for this, you should keep closing/logging out/refreshing cookies and caches every now and then

  • Not a security issue but having a lot of tabs open may impact your RAM

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Thank you Apurv! But if my computer has not compromised with malware, is there any other danger you can think of leaving tabs open? (I’m just talking about remote access)

Would tabs open make certain forms of session hijacking a lot easier? For example if one of the open tabs belonged to a site that was compromised just yesterday. Perhaps it was a XSS attack on that website. My tab has been open for 3 days and I am still logged in. Problem?

If it is not compromised then I think leaving tab open is fine. Remote access anyway will give access to your whole computer and not just browser.

Regarding site compromise, session hijacking will be easier in some cases if the session/cookies remain the same and are not changed. If attacker gets their hands on that cookie then they can log in as you. But again attackers need to have access to those cookies/session using some form of attack.

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