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Comparing security between IE and Firefox

     
9:28 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

if we ask any body which browser is more secure between Firefox and IE then mostly people says Firefox. Can any body tell me why Firefox is more secure? I am using IE but i never get any problrm or security pitfall.

Vineet Bhandari

[edited by: encyclo at 10:57 am (utc) on Sep. 13, 2005]
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9:51 am on Sept 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Essentially, IE is insecure because is linked closely to the operating system and because is supports Active X controls which are a hacker's dream come true.

Firefox is just another program. In theory, it should be 100% secure.

Vulnerabilities in FF are generally the result of bugs (coding errors) but vulnerabilities in IE are often the result of architecture/design as well as bugs.

Fixing design problems is much more difficult than fixing coding errors - to a large extent, this is the reason why FF fixes are often available in days but IE fixes can take months and recommended workarounds are often huge and blunt (like disabling javascript).

Kaled.

9:56 am on Sept 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Funny, when I type "msn" in the address bar, Firefox takes me to www.msn.com but Internet Explorer gives error!
12:57 pm on Sept 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Mine, to: search dot msn dot com/results.aspx?srch=105&FORM=AS5&q=msn
7:12 am on Oct 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanx for this knowledge
9:52 am on Oct 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am using IE but i never get any problrm or security pitfall

I have to agree with this, I have been using IE most of my internet life and have to say I have *never* run into problems. The basics of safe browsing is general knowledge IMHO - don't go on dodgy looking sites, don't click that dodgy looking link and don't enter you personal info all over the place.

IE supports active X controls

Quite right, but any active X installation attempt prompts the security bar on the top to pop down asking for verification from you - never install these if you don't know why \ what its for.

I also here people screaming about spyware etc with IE, but again the basics - get a spyware checker, keep up-to date with virus software and clear unwanted cookies \ files.

Just my thoughts :)

11:45 am on Oct 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have to agree with this, I have been using IE most of my internet life and have to say I have *never* run into problems. The basics of safe browsing is general knowledge IMHO - don't go on dodgy looking sites, don't click that dodgy looking link and don't enter you personal info all over the place.

How do you know what's "dodgy" until you've already clicked it? ;) I'm no Internet newbie, but just recently I wound up on a "dodgy" site without any previous notion that there might be anything wrong - and I'm very careful when going around unfamiliar Internet territory. Granted, that doesn't happen often, but all it takes is once.

I also here people screaming about spyware etc with IE, but again the basics - get a spyware checker, keep up-to date with virus software and clear unwanted cookies \ files.

With Firefox, you can forget about most of those things - or, at the very least, you can forget the spyware checker. Also, Firefox includes a cookie manager, which allows you to delete only certain cookies. IE's only option is to delete ALL cookies, unless you do it manually in Windows Explorer, and I consider that pretty awkward.

But you're still essentially right - safe browsing habits will keep you pretty safe if you use IE. But I'd rather not take the chance - besides, Firefox has boosted my productivity so much that I couldn't go back now even if I wanted to!

On another note, I think IE on XP is quite a bit more secure than IE on previous versions of Windows. At least a couple of the security features you mentioned aren't available in my copy of IE (running W2K). I know XP is the norm these days, but there are still a lot of people running 98, 2000, and ME. None of them will have some of those essential security features, such as ActiveX installation warnings.