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Is Your Web Browser Putting You At Risk?

 by: Doug Partridge

It's free, it comes with Windows and it's used by approximately 94% of the Internet population. It also poses an unacceptable security risk. What am I talking about? If you guessed Internet Explorer, you're right on the money. So, is your web browser putting you at risk? If you're one of the 94% using Internet Explorer, the answer is a definite *yes*. By my math, quite a few people require critical information for protection.

What's the problem with Internet Explorer (known as "IE" from here out) and how does it put you at risk?

The main problem with IE is the numerous security flaws. As an example, between April 2001 and June 2004, Microsoft documented *153 security flaws* in IE. When a security flaw is discovered Microsoft releases information about the flaw and the potential impact. *Usually* at this point Microsoft provides a downloadable security fix to remedy the problem. Since many people don't know about the flaw and the fix, frequently people remain vulnerable for long periods of time.

Just how serious are some of these security flaws? Some of the critical security flaws allow attackers to basically gain control of your computer and run whatever malicious programs they chose. In many cases, your vulnerable computer can be compromised just by visiting the wrong website.

Here are but a few of the malicious programs I've seen loaded on people's computers through security holes in IE:

  • Browser Hijackers. These are programs that do nasty things like change your home page to another page, usually something pornographic in nature. They can also install software and links on your desktop, of course *without* your permission.

  • Spyware. This is extremely devious and malicious software, and in many cases, it's used by criminals for online identity theft. Once it's on your computer, Spyware sits quietly in the background recording information about you. Do you shop and bank online? This is one threat to be extremely concerned about.

What can you do to improve security?

Rather than continue to apply what boils down to "band aid" security fixes to IE, I recommend a more permanent solution. Stop letting IE put you at risk, and switch to another web browser.

How exactly will switching web browsers help? Quite simply, there are so many security exploits on the Internet targeted specifically to IE that just by using another browser, you'll happily avoid most of them.

The good news is that there are several alternative web browsers available free of charge like Netscape, Mozilla, Opera and Firefox. For more information a great website to visit is http://BrowseHappy.com. This website is dedicated to getting people to switch from IE. It's full of "real life" stories about why people switched, and what browser they're using now.

So, what's the best browser of the bunch? Well, it's highly subjective of course, but my vote goes to

Firefox, "Rediscover the Web" A new browser called Firefox has quickly become my web browser of choice. First off, Firefox was written to be "lean and mean" and it certainly delivers. It's faster at loading web pages than IE and even provides features not found in IE. Something I suspect will quickly become a favorite feature is called tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing allows you to load multiple web pages in the same window, and quickly switch between the loaded pages. Tired of pop-ups? Firefox has the best built-in pop-up blocker I've seen. I have yet to see a pop-up get past it. When it comes to security, Firefox receives *high marks*.

Firefox definitely has a positive "buzz" going right now, and it's easy to see why. If you're interested in trying out Firefox, you can download it for free here: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

I'll conclude by saying that switching browsers is only one of several steps necessary to protect yourself from the many threats on the Internet, but it's certainly a good place to start. Here's to practicing safe computing.

© Doug Partridge - All Rights reserved

About The Author

Doug Partridge is co-author of a new eBook, "How to Secure Your Computer Using Free Tools and Smart Strategies." This is the missing Internet security guide that should have come with your Windows computer, but didn't.

Free Details => http://www.SecureYourComputer.net


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Internet Shopping for multimedia design


Internet shopping enables us to access many multimedia design stores and view their offerings from the comfort of our own home. One of the biggest misconceptions about shopping on the Internet for multimedia design is that it is unsafe and insecure, this is far from the truth. Even if your credit card number is stolen and used to make unauthorized purchases you are not responsible and most credit card companies insure multimedia design purchases with fraud protection insurance, at no additional cost to you.

It is a hassle if your card number is ever stolen but in all actuality you have more of a chance having your card number stolen at a real multimedia design store than on the Internet. Below are several steps you can take to help ensure safe and secure lg multimedia designping.

It's always good to be familiar with the reputation of any multimedia design company you're dealing with. To find out more about a company most multimedia design websites have an ABOUT US section which will tell a little about the organization. Government agencies also monitor the activities of lg multimedia design to ensure that the goods and services they provide are acceptable to consumers.

When you decide to purchase multimedia design online check out the CONTACT US section of the multimedia design website to ensure that you can actually contact them by phone, fax or email. Reputable firms will most certainly carry this information.

It also pays to check out their returns policy. Many multimedia design websites offer a no obligation period with a guarantee of full refund of the purchase price if you return the goods in a satisfactory condition.

Internet shopping for multimedia design is rapidly growing and this means high competition between sites selling and marketing multimedia design goods or services. This competition is good for you because it means everyone selling multimedia design has to operate their business to high ethical and professional standards.

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