28 July 2006
If you do just one thing to increase the level of security on your computer, make it a switch to the Firefox browser. If you’re like most internet users, you probably use Internet Explorer. But then again, if you’re like most internet users, you are probably not being kept very secure as you surf the web, and the browser you use is a big part of that.
How much safer is Firefox?
As of 28 July 2006, Secunia, a company that monitors browser vulnerabilities, reports that Firefox has 33 vulnerabilities, 4 of which remain unpatched. In contrast, Internet Explorer has 105 vulnerabilities, 21 of which remain unpatched.
In addition to having a greater number of vulnerabilities, Microsoft tends to take a lot longer to fix them because the company doesn’t seem to pay much attention to anyone who warns them of the browser’s shortcomings.
Firefox, on the other hand, allows anybody to submit a report indicating a vulnerability or supply the code to fix it. As a result, when vulnerabilities do appear, they get fixed rapidly.
Firefox is catching on quickly
Since its launch two years ago, the number of people who use Firefox has been climbing steadily. Currently, about 10% of all internet users are browsing the web more securely with this program.
It’s incredibly easy to start using this browser, so there is really no excuse to continue using Internet Explorer (when you install Firefox, it will even import your bookmarks that you have stored in other browsers). Did I mention that it is completely free?
Of course, if you are already using something like Opera, Netscape, or Safari, feel free to ignore this advice, as each of these are high-quality browsers that provide a good measure of security for their users.
I’m going to continue publishing articles on maintaining your security easily and at no cost, so keep an eye out.