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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Internet Explorer goes one-on-one with Firefox




    LANGALIST PLUS

    Internet Explorer goes one-on-one with Firefox


    By Fred Langa

    It's time to retire the "Firefox is safer" conventional wisdom.

    Follow a few rules, and you can securely surf the Web with any of today's major browsers including Fred's personal choice, Internet Explorer.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2011/01/20/05 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Safer by avoiding Internet Explorer

    There are two big reasons not to use Internet Explorer.

    For one, its popular and thus a target of bad guys. That is, like Windows itself, it offers bad guys the most bang for the buck. This isn't fair to IE, but you are safer with a browser that is a lesser target.

    Also, IE bugs are not fixed in a timely manner. To me, nothing trumps this. Firefox and Chrome release bug fixes when they are ready. Microsoft releases them on a set schedule.

    I blogged this:
    http://blogs.computerworld.com/17583...lorer_bug_yawn

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    And yet again not a single mention of Opera in an article on browsers. As far as security goes Opera must count as one of the safest browsers with not a single unpatched vulnerability. With the release of Opera 11 it is now widely recognised as a very capable browser and usage seems to be increasing. Please give it the coverage it deserves.

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Well I've trusted Fred's advice for a very long time now so I'm in a bit of a hard place. Fred says we can trust IE. Secunia Personal Software Inspector (which Fred said was a good thing) says IE is unsafe for browsing (Opera, Firefox, and Chrome are all safe). I've come to depend on PSI to help me keep my systems safe and up to date so I think I'll just pretend I didn't read that particular column.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I agree with the contents of the article. The IE "insecurity" question has always been somewhat overblown imo.
    Safe browsing habits and carefull configuration of IE 8 is imo just as secure as firefox, or most any other browser.

    Poor browser security configurations, questionable habits, and misconfiguration with too many addons can bring down other browsers too.

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Not mentioned in the article is Chrome's superior isolation of browser and plug-in processes, known as "sandboxing". Also, Chrome installs on a per-user basis, making infections of the Operating System more difficult through this browser as compared with others on the Windows platform. Combined with good pro-active web shields, or even MSE-2, this is the most secure browser out there for general use.

    By the way, when Secunia says a browser has Safe Browsing vulnerabilities, this does not mean the browser has known exploits actively being used in the wild. Often, these are theoretical "proof of concept" exploits, not yet seen in the wild. That's why Microsoft is slow to patch these findings. And Firefox has consistently led the way with the most exploits of this kind, and the longest lag time before patching the underlying vulnerabilities. Chrome has shown up with very few of these exploits.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-01-22 at 05:50.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #7
    Lounger
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    Questionalbe results from Sophos Anti-Rootkit

    Well, all previous comments are about browsers, but Sophos Anti-Rootkit was recommended in the same column, so I guess this is the place for comment about it.

    I installed and ran Sophos Anti-Rootkit. It reported 37 "Unknown hidden files". Maybe I've got a big problem, but all of these "hidden files" that I bothered to check seem to be normally visible and many of them are familiar to me, so I'm more suspicious about the validity of the Anti-Rootkit output than about the allegedly hidden files.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    First I've been reading Fred Langa since forever and love the advice generally. However, I use the same 3 browsers and currently I am finding IE8 to be buggy. Not sure what the problem is but now I only use it if some website isn't set-up for the others. Mostly I use Chrome because it is lightning fast and seems to be quite safe also. Firefox is simply very slow so I only use it when websites can't display to chrome. Perhaps this will change when I get a newer computer. All my current systems are over 4 years old and none run Windows 7 yet.

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Hmmm!
    Since the beginnings of the "WWW" also known as the "Internet" and the release of MS Internet Explorer, most of Microsoft's time and effort and updates have been directed towards fixing "Holes" in I.E. I equate this to trying to keep air from passing through a screen door. There are just too many 'holes' to ever fix them all.
    Then many years ago now, I had one heck of a time getting into certain places on the 'Web' with I.E. I had to use Netscape, which of course loaded very slowly, because of it's size.
    When Mozilla Firefox first came on the scene, in Beta, I jumped on it like a goose on a junebug.
    I'm still an avid Firefox user today. Contrary to some others, I use a bare minimum of Add-Ons and plug-ins.
    Avoid Tool Bars whenever possible!!!
    There is also a set of "Tweaks" that make Firefox faster and more efficient. I apply those, every time I set up Firefox for someone.
    They DO help.

    One of the Add-Ons that I use with Firefox is the "I.E. Tab" add on. With it, I never need to use I.E., even to go to I.E. Only sites, like Windows Updates.

    Oh well, I know I'm not changing anyone's opinion, just voicing my own. Eh?

    Cheers Mates!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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