Saturday, March 25, 2006

Using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer

Using Firefox over Internet Explorer is recommended by most security experts. I downloaded Firefox some time ago and started playing around with its different add-ins and extensions. After a while I found myself using Firefox more and more often, now it is my primary browser.

The idea of open source software is that it is reviewed by anybody that wants to, and can be tested for vulnerabilities by anyone. Microsoft however keeps their code hidden, and every hacker pokes at it until they find a hole that they can use to cause trouble. I am still a little cautious about Firefox on some aspects. I do believe that it is more secure the IE. That is obvious when you look at the security advisories that come out monthly about another exploit found in IE. Firefox can still be exploited just the same as IE if someone finds a hole and uses it to their advantage. The idea though is that more people are reviewing the code for Firefox than are for IE and hopefully they will find any issues and fix them in development.

I am a big fan of Microsoft products, I believe that they work as they should, and I rarely have an issue with anything crashing or hanging. If there is a problem I find that it is a third party process that is causing the problem. Firefox however displays pages incorrectly almost daily; sometimes I close it and still find it running in the system processes. Up until version 1.5 I really thought of Firefox as not ready for prime time, but now I await version 2 and hopefully these issues will be fixed. But there is IE7. With tabbed browsing, and Microsoft’s reliability, I may switch back to IE as my primary browser. When doing banking and other business online, I still trust IE over Firefox, but for generally surfing and visiting other “gray areas” online (no not porn) I choose Firefox