Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Which Browser? Internet Explorer? Firefox?

Which browser do you use when surfing the internet? Are you like most folks out there who use Microsoft Internet Explorer? The largest percentage of the population uses MSIE. I prefer to use Firefox. Firefox has gained in popularity over the past few years. Here are the reasons I use Firefox and not Internet Explorer.

Think about what the bad guy attacker thinks. If I write an exploit that takes advantage of a vulnerability, I want to hit the most largest possible target base. Simple math (I hated math by the way) and you go to the masses. I want the most targets so I write my exploit for MSIE. Simple. This is one reason why I use Firefox. I don't have that Apple mentality to think that there are no exploits written for Firefox. Trust me when I say this, there is no "safe" browser when it comes right down to it. Browsers are software and when software is written, it has bugs. So this is reason number one.

Reason number two. When bugs are discovered, Firefox has a smaller window from the time a vulnerability is discovered, to the time an update is deployed. Nothing against MSIE. I think Microsoft has come a long way from the days of old. It just seems that it takes longer for MSIE has a longer window from the time a vulnerability is discovered to the time it is patched.

Reason number three. If you are a user of MSIE, then you know with MSIE 7, you got tabbed browsing. I've been using Firefox for several years and it has had tabbed browsing for quite some time. I think there are many things that Firefox does that MSIE has moved in that same direction. Plus there are many plug ins that are awesome also. Many for security reasons.

Those are enough reasons for me to use Firefox. You ought to try it if you have never tried it. After downloading it and setting it as your default browser, browse the plug ins and see what is out there. I'll admit there are many I don't use. I have mentioned in previous posts that I do use a plug in from www.finjan.com. Be brave, try it for a couple of weeks. See if you can make yourself a smaller target out there in the wild wild west called the Internet.

If you are an Internet Explorer user, I say try Firefox and see how you like it. I believe as many in the Computer Security field do, that a change to the Firefox browser will keep you safer because you are now not wearing such a big target on your back. Take care and stay safe.

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