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By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-07-22 Print this article Print

Like I said, if Secure IE does the job for just $29.99, perhaps its money well-spent. But theres an alternative. If youre open to the idea of not using the orthodox Internet Explorer, even with XP Service Pack 2, then perhaps you should just save the $29.99 and start using Mozilla or Firefox. Ive been using Firefox on and off for a few weeks now, and theres a lot to like about it.

There are definitely a lot of little problems, just as there are with Secure IE (for example, neither of them print as well as Internet Explorer), but its free and is being actively developed and youre actually more likely to fly under the radar of IE-specific attacks than you are with Secure IE. Of course, with Secure IE youre much more likely to have good luck with those sites that demand Internet Explorer, and if you need to run an ActiveX control you can.

Theres a lot more to Secure IE that I havent covered, and if youre interested you should read through the product page on Winfernos site. I suppose I would rather have a novice user running Secure IE than regular IE in XP SP1, but advanced users can protect themselves just fine with XP SP2.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at for security news, views and analysis.
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Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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