Letter #1: Firefox is the trustworthy choice

When asked which browser will win them over -- Internet Explorer or Firefox -- SearchWindowsSecurity.com readers' choices are clear. Read one of 10 letters to the editor.

When asked which browser will ultimately win them over -- Internet Explorer or Firefox -- SearchWindowsSecurity.com readers have a lot to say. The following commentary is one of six letters to the editor describing why readers are sticking with IE or why they switched to Firefox. Some also offer best practices to help you lock down Internet use in spite of browser weaknesses. Click for the complete series.

Letter #1: Why Firefox? "I trust the security."

Reader: Glenn Parsons
Systems Administrator
Bethesda, Md.

Environment: Small organization that supports Windows 2000 and XP Professional desktops, and Windows 2000 servers.

Internet Explorer or Firefox: Firefox

Why Firefox: I'm switching to Firefox because I am concerned about IE security: SSL connections, pop-ups and spyware made me consider Firefox. I will no longer use IE for SSL connections. I still use IE for a few sites which do not render properly or work at all in Firefox, but those sites have long proven their trustworthiness.

Specific reasons why I switched to Firefox: I like the ability to fine tune cookie handling and block pop-ups, and I like the RSS feeds. I trust the security. I am happy to be VB-script free. Microsoft does not offer any of these previously mentioned features in Internet Explorer and won't unless I upgrade (in the future). I don't particularly like Windows XP and personally do not use it. I have nice, stable Windows 2000 machines (as of Windows 2000 SP2) that don't hog memory and have simple interfaces.

Firefox as a future attack target: I will watch for vulnerabilities and decide for myself what I am willing to expose myself to, and I will advise our staff of vulnerabilities and options.

What Microsoft should do to fix browser problems: It could remove the IE components integrated into the OS. Probably not.

How to enforce safe browsing: I work for a small organization where I can personally discuss vulnerabilities and gotchas to our people. They are not all highly, tech savvy, but intelligent enough to keep themselves out of trouble. Our people apply common sense when dealing with the Internet.

I do not force or enforce any browser policies on our LAN. I do educate and stress safe practices to our users. I have deployed Firefox throughout the company where I need a browser on some of our servers. I have many Linux servers that I prefer Firefox on, rather than Mozilla. It is much more lean. It works extremely well with most of our applications.

We also design Java-based Web applications and Mozilla works well on most of them. It does not work well on some of our legacy applications.

For more letters to the editor, click for the complete series.

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