Explore the Internet in a Whole New Way
For a long time now Microsofts Internet Explorer has ruled as King of Internet browsers. Like most of Microsofts products an initially brutal marketing campaign pushed Internet Explorer into the mainstreams consciousness and from then on it was the logical, default choice. Its free with the operating system, works well, loads any page and is easy to use. Other web browsers soon faded into obscurity and sometimes even died in the shadow of the new king of the pack. Netscape Navigator, the former King of the browsers, has now ceased commercial operations and has been taken over by the fan base. Opera is fading into obscurity and Mozilla was facing a similar fate, until recently.
Mozilla Firefox formerly known as Firebird is probably the largest threat that IE has faced in recent times. Currently, according to http://www.w3schools.com, IE is the browser used by 69.9% of Internet users and Firefox is used by 19.1%. This might not seem like much, but according to http://www.nua.ie/surveys/how_many_online/ an educated guess at the number of people that use the Internet is somewhere around 605,600,000 users or was in 2002, the number will have increased substantially by now. That means that after some erroneous math a rough stab at guessing the number of people using Firefox is probably over 115,064,000, which isnt a bad user base at all.
When a friend of mine from university first tried to convince me to switch to Firefox I wasnt particularly interested. Basically, IE has done everything that Ive wanted in a web browser. He went on at great lengths about the security aspects, the in-built popup blockers, download managers and so on, but Id spent a fairly large amount of time and money on anti-virus programs, firewalls, spyware removers, and my browser was secure enough. I also have a download manager that Im very happy with and refuse to change from. After much cajoling I finally agreed to try this newfangled software. Im glad I did too, because now I have no desire to go back.
Firefox is very easy to install and use. Theres nothing complicated, you simply download for free and run the install file and then when you run the browser for the first time you get presented with the option of importing your IE favourites a nice feature, with the click of a button everything is moved across to ease your transition and also the option of making Firefox your default browser. My initial reaction was fairly apathetic; Firefox seemed pretty much the same as IE and in essence, it is. It has all the basic features of IE, but then I discovered it adds so much more.
The first feature to really grab me is the tabbed browsing. Many alternative browsers and even IE plugins support tabbed browsing where the new pages can be opened in a tab in the one window, instead of filling the task bar with buttons but Firefox seems to make it so easy and useful. All you do is click a link with the middle button on your mouse most newer mice have three buttons, the third often being placed under the scroll wheel and a new tab opens up containing the page requested. Middle clicking on any tab in the window will close it, without having to actually go to the tab and click close. Ctrl-T will open a new blank tab, and Ctrl-Tab will cycle through them similar in fashion to Alt-Tab cycling through the open programs. What this all leads to is a much neater Internet experience, with you being able to group certain pages into browser windows, leaving the start bar much cleaner and easier to navigate.
The next feature that caught my attention was the search bar built into the browser. Its small, sleek and simple, built into the right-hand side of the main toolbar beside the address box. You can add many different sites to the search bar and then select the site you wish to search from a drop-down menu. Then its simply a matter of typing your query in and hitting enter to be taken directly to that page and your search results. This makes searching Ebay, Google, Internet Movie DataBase, Amazon etc. very quick and easy as you can simply type in the desired search criteria as you think of it and get the results back fast. You can get search bar plugins for IE but they tend to take up lots of room, contain ads, and you can usually only have one site per search bar.
There are more features than I could write about here but I will tell you that Firefox has impressed me greatly. Browser hijacking: the act of a malicious website script changing your homepage or search page particularly common on IE, sites will change your default search page so that every time you type an address into your address bar their site gets a hit is now a thing of the past at least until someone gets vicious enough to work out backdoors in Firefox, an unlikely event for at least a little while given the massive market share still held by IE. Since changing over I have received substantially fewer attack notices from my Firewall. Sites load quickly, and if you get an address wrong you dont have to wait for a page to load, you just quickly get a message informing you that the site doesnt exist. Then there are the extensions that can be downloaded to add all sorts of new features to the browser.
The only downside that I have found is the fact that because IE is the dominant web browser, some websites are coded in such a way that they dont work properly on other browsers. These sites are few and far between, but occasionally you will still need to fire up IE to view a page. The infrequency of this occurring is enough that it doesnt annoy me too much, but it will be nice when everything works 100%.
At the end of the day, its probably not a vital switch. Both programs suffice in allowing you to plug in and explore the vast world of the Internet with ease and accuracy. However, its worth a look though because what starts off initially as "I have no real reason to change back" quickly becomes "I am never going back". So, as the official Firefox website encourages, "Rediscover the web".
Small Business Computer Security, the Basics
Anyone in business today realizes both the natural dependency on computers in the workplace, and also the potential dangers associated with storing important data on them. Today’s business owners are constantly being reminded that their company’s data is at risk by the daily reports on various news stations, or even their favorite business-related website. But what can a typical small business owner do to protect their network from these threats that are broadcasted in so many ways Dangers lurk at every turn on the Internet. There are thousands of attacks or areas of security that could be discussed, but I am going to try and focus on three general nuisances associated with today’s computers: viruses, spy-ware, and traditional “hackers” that will intentionally try to exploit your computer systems for various reasons. All of these attacks, although different, serve a specific purpose for the attacker, yet basically translate into three things for a business: lost productivity, lost data, and the end result… lost money. Here is brief descriptions of what the aforementioned attacks are, consist of, and what a typical small business can do to protect their technology investments.
Your Computer May Be Infected. Heres How To Check.. NOT about virus
NOTE: Please take time to read on - it may be vital for your PCs security. If you are not in the mood, just save it or print it out for later reference.
Is Your Web Browser Putting You At Risk
Its free, it comes with Windows and its 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, youre right on the money. So, is your web browser putting you at risk If youre 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.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams!
If you use emails actively in your communication, you must have received various messages claiming to be from Ebay, Paypal and a number of banks. A recent email as if from U.S. Bank Corporation that I received contains the subject "U.S. Bank Fraud Verification Process" and in the body of the mail it says "We recently reviewed your account, and suspect that your U.S. Bank Internet Banking account may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. Protecting the security of your account and of the U.S. Bank network is our primary concern. Therefore, as a preventative measure, we have temporarily limited access to sensitive account features. To restore your account access, please take the following steps to ensure that your account has not been compromised:". It continues with a link to a webpage, which looks very similar to original web page of the bank.
Rid Your Computer of ITD - Internet Transmitted Diseases
Spyware or malware has become very prolific in the past year but there are some things you can do to limit your infection by it.
Spyware: What It Is and How to Combat It
Spyware is software or hardware installed on a computer without the users knowledge which gathers information about that user for later retrieval by whomever controls the spyware.
With the advent of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP operating system, Microsoft have really made the forums hum.
Computer Tips that Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably
When working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and you’re suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips that’ll keep you up and running smoothly.
Tops In Toolbars
Most internet marketers are aware of, and probably use, the Google Toolbar. After all, it has been the only indicator of Googles PageRank number that has been assigned to a given web page. Whether the number is accurate, important, or even updated any more is a matter of debate on the marketing forums. But the only feature that was really worthwhile for more casual surfers, other than being able to use the Google search box directly, was the popup window blocker feature, which oddly enough, is the least favorite feature of many an internet marketer. But for many surfers now, the Yahoo Toolbar may well be a better choice. A 3 megabyte download for computers running Windows 98 or higher and Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, the Yahoo Toolbar not only offers greater interactivity with Yahoo and My Yahoo, but now offers some benefits for your PC as well.
Burning Bridges is Bad, But Firewalls are Good
When you signed up for that ultra-fast DSL or Cable connection there was probably one very important piece of information that your ISP failed to mention. By accessing the Internet via a high-speed connection, you have tremendously increased your chances of being victimized by a computer hacker.
The End of Spyware
The US House of Representatives has recently passed the "Spy Act" - or to give it its full title - the Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act. This aims to prevent software companies from installing spyware on users PCs without their knowledge, and anyone found guilty of breaching the act faces a fine of up to $3 million.
Learn Simple Strategies That Will Stop Spammers From Bombarding Your Inbox!
Spam filter is the solution that most people resort when they try to steam the flood of junk mails and spam.
How To Stop Spyware From Infecting Your System
Spyware is becoming more and more of a problem. When I visit a cusomters site and inspect the computers I always find some kind of spyware on the system. I know that many people have been unaware of spyware, but hopefully now that the word is spreading that people will be more aware of the problem and setup a good defense. I get a get calls or questions to the effect of "Why is my computer running so slow I just bought the computer recently". Most of the time this is because of spyware. Spyware programs will load on boot up and take up your computer memory that will reduce your performance. I will go over my typical setup to prevent and battle spyware. This system works if all of the current spyware has been removed properly. I will leave that to another article.
Who’s Watching What You Type
If someone entered your home, uninvited and installed numerous cameras and listening devices in order to monitor your activities, you would quite rightly be outraged. While such a situation, unless you are living in the Big Brother House, would be considered ridiculous, the same cannot be said for the humble home computer.
Network Monitoring for Serious eCommerce
In the real world, businesses come in every size, from self-employed entrepreneurs like me to mega malls like Wal-Mart.
Avoid Internet Theft, Fraud and Phishing
Since its birth, the Internet has grown and expanded to unprecedented, unmanageable proportions. Information, software, news, and much more flow freely through its twisted pathways. Online services such as Internet banking save time and money. However, from the depths of its vast expanse have come the dregs of society intent on preying on the new, the naïve, and the less informed.
The Cheapest Way To Speed Up Your PC
Is your computer running slowly but dont have much cash Windows XP telling you that you have low memory Then dont panic, adding memory to your current computer is one of the cheapest, easiest upgrades that you can do yourself! Dont start ripping apart your PC just yet though.
More Cool Web Tricks
If you ask most people what frustrates them most about the Internet, many of them will tell you "Its the little things!"
6 Essential Steps to Protect Your Computer On the Internet For Free
Recently one of my friends asked me to check out if his computer was infected by virus. He suspected because occasionally the computer was shut down automatically when connected to internet. My first thought was the Sasser worm 60 seconds auto count-down. As he uses Windows 98 second edition with IE5, the virus must be a Sasser variant.
Advertising is a necessary irritant in the world today. You cant drive down the street without coming across an ad, either a billboard suspended over a road or a large poster plastered down the side of a bus. If you walk into a shopping centre it doesnt matter where you look, you see an advertisement of some kind. Even the tables in the food court now have ads embedded in them, and on my last trip to Melbourne I noticed that they were starting to embed flat screen TVs into the tables to deliver the full commercial experience to your meal. If you jump on the Internet you have to contend with pop-ups and banner ads, with some advertising agents being ruthless enough to write malicious code that embeds the ad into your computer so that you still receive the pop-ups even when youre not at the original site.
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