General, Security

Secure Web Browser: Firefox Vs. IE

November 7, 2006

Firefox Vs. IE.  Is Firefox safer?  Which is the more secure web browser?  With the numerous trojans and viruses running around these days plus the many phishing and spoofing techniques used, many people want to know these answers.

Well there has been much discussion and several headlines stating that IE is safer than Firefox.  If you don’t read any further, you may be tempted to take those headlines as gospel.  However, a closer examination will reveal a different spin on the facts.

Symantec released a report (Internet Security Threat Report Vol. 10) which noted that Mozilla (makers of the Firefox browser) faced 47 reported vulnerabilities in its browser while IE had only 38 reported vulnerabilities.  If you stop reading there, it would appear that IE is the more secure web browser.

However, if you read on you will also find a statistic showing that Mozilla takes less time to patch holes in its browser than does Microsoft.  The report indicated that users of Firefox face an average of 1 day of exposure from unpatched holes vs. 9 days for users of Internet Explorer.

So, one could easily create a headline that stated: “Firefox users face only 47 days of vulnerability but IE users face 342 days!”  It is all how you view the facts.

The next time you run across a headline that proclaims it has found the “Most Secure Web Browser“, make sure that you read on and that you examine the entire package.  Ultimately, no web browser is going to offer you total protection from the “nasties” running around the Internet.  But if you take time to educate yourself, you can make sure that you are as secure as possible.

Download Mozilla Firefox 2.0 here

Download IE 7 here

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