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Web Browsers and E-mail


Since the birth of the World Wide Web, WWW, computer users have been able to choose what operating system, OS, and software they use to view web pages and read their e-mail. Granted in the beginning there were few choices, but now that the WWW has become a media rich, meeting ground where you can buy anything you can think of and download just about any of it, we the computer users are faced with our privacy and computers being compromised due to viruses, adware, spyware, and other insidious software sent out to hunt out information or just cause havoc, and much of the time, it succeeds due to security holes in the software we use to check our e-mail and buy a harmless item from a website.

It is for this lack of security I get most of my computer work. Someone has visited a website and ended up getting numerous viruses, adware and spyware, and is now suffering with a computer that just doesnít want to work. My first recommendation to prevent a good portion of trouble, is donít download anything you donít trust; if you donít know what to trust and what not to, donít download anything at all. My second recommendation is to, download, (ha, ha, ha), two pieces of software, one will work, but the two together are best, Ad-Aware and Spybot Ė Search & Destroy. Let me tell you right now you can trust this software; it is the same software I use to remove the majority of malicious code from my clients computers, it is also installed on my computers. Much like anti-virus software this software will look for malicious software on your computer, like adware and spyware, and will remove it safely.

My next recommendation leads us to web browsers and e-mail clients. The best way to prevent the vast majority of the viruses and malicious code out there is to ditch Internet Explorer, IE, Outlook and Outlook Express. Now, I know they come free with any PC computer, but they are full of security holes allowing software to download and run on your computer without you even knowing until it is too late. If you are one of the many who insists on staying with IE then I highly recommend downloading Spybot and making sure to enable the IE integration when installing the program, it wonít stop everything but it helps.
IE security chart

The best solution is using a different browser and e-mail client, like Firefox and Thunderbird. Firefox is a very fast and secure web browser and Thunderbird is a secure e-mail client. Both do not allow software to automatically install and run on your computer. The only way you can get viruses in e-mail attachments in Thunderbird is if you deliberately open the attachment, just viewing the e-mail does not put you at risk like the Outlook products. You can read more about the features of Firefox and Thunderbird at the Mozilla Project website. A few of my favorite features are, Firefox will let you open new pages in tabs so you can have multiple web pages in one window. Firefox is also incredibly fast. If you are thinking about upgrading your connection to the Internet because the web pages are loading too slowly, download and tryout Firefox first, you wonít be able to stream live video but regular web pages sure load a lot quicker. Thunderbird easily allows you to manage multiple e-mail accounts, and is very fast as well; and yes both are free to download. If you want to go straight to trying them out I put the links to download them directly below. Have fun with your new web browser and e-mail client and put your mind at ease that you are surfing the web securely and in style.

Get Firefox!

Firefox Downloads:
Get Thunderbird!


Security Ratings

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x

Mozilla Firefox 2.0.x

Mozilla Firefox 1.x


Mozilla Firefox
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Mozilla Thunderbird

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