Computer Crime Research Center


Security on the Internet: MS Explorer vs Mozilla Firefox

Date: December 19, 2005
Source: Washington Post

The browser that finally broke Microsoft's monopoly just got its first major update. If you haven't switched from Internet Explorer yet, consider Firefox 1.5 your invitation to do so.

This new release (Win 98 or newer, Mac OS X 10.3 or newer, Linux, free at ) looks almost like its predecessor, but it's worth downloading for that very reason. It incorporates useful improvements without forcing users to learn anything new.

Most important among them is a security update mechanism that should solve a common dilemma. The users more likely to stumble across a malicious site are often least likely to remember to install security updates that would protect them from the bad site's break-in attempts.

Earlier Firefox releases would notify users of new updates, but in a manner too easy to overlook. And users who did think to click on that cryptic red-arrow icon would then have to download a fresh copy of the browser and sit through the same setup experience as a user installing the program for the first time. Now, when a new version is available, Firefox 1.5 will notify you prominently, download just a small updater file and use that to patch itself.
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