Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Firefox ... I made the switch

I just divorced a long-time partner ... Internet Explorer and I are no longer together.

For the past few weeks, IE has been acting really weird. I've frequently been getting error messages when I try to click a link on a page before the page fully loads. I then have to stop, back-track, and refresh the window. It's like it overloads or something. I have a spankin' new laptop, so I know the problem isn't the machine.

The final straw came today today at a district training I attended. Several of us were getting some weird errors when trying to access certain portions of a program that required us to run the internet at the same time. The woman conducting the class informed us that they've noticed the same issue repeatedly over the summer during different sessions. She said it only acts "buggy" with IE.

She strongly recommended using Firefox instead of IE. Soooo ... I came home and did some research.

According to ScanIT (a web consultanting company that specializes in network security audits):

Internet Explorer was around 80% unsafe during 2004, while FireFox barely "missed" around 15 percent. The results are based upon a tester developed by the company, Browser Security Checker, used by around 195,000 clients last year in order to detect whether their systems are vulnerable and whether the browser is the access gate for malicious codes.

According to ScanIT CEO, David Michaux, "around 98% of the Internet Explorer users were exposed to online threats during 2004; 200 days out of the whole 2004 (54% of last year) was dominated by activities specific to this worm or virus which exploited browser’s vulnerabilities".

As a comparison, FireFox was only left unprotected to known vulnerabilities for 56 days last year; the open-source online browsing solution seems to rule.

That did it for me. I downloaded Firefox. All my bookmarks and cookies transferred over, but my tags and buttons didn't. After doing a quick search, I found a Mozilla add-on extension that fixed the problem for me, so now I'm good to go -- links and all.

It feels sort of weird. There are a few differences. But I was really getting frustrated with the problems I was having, and I can already tell the difference (I haven't had a single one of the above-mentioned error messages). So far, so good!

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