Safer Surfing

First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered any application that was 100% bug-free; even ‘top of the line, $5000 per user license’ applications. Yes, they have bugs – but so does everything else. So in that respect …

Nothing is ‘wrong’ with either of these applications – BUT – because Microsoft® has the market, users of these applications are plagued by parasites and viruses, and are more susceptible to identity theft. It doesn’t help that Microsoft® has Internet Explorer® embedded into the operating system as well as the majority of their applications.

Along with SPAM, viruses and parasites are the number one problem with computers these days; various sources estimate that over 90% of all PC’s are infected with some type of parasite or virus.

It’s frustrating—not only for you, the end user, but also for those of us who support you.

In a corporate environment, UNIX is a far more dependable server platform; once it’s setup and running – and properly maintained – it just works.

On the desktop, viable alternatives are MAC and LINUX (which are also Unix based Operating Systems). Of the two, MAC is without a doubt the most dependable – but it doesn’t run on Intel hardware – meaning that if you want to use MAC®, you have to buy an APPLE® machine. An APPLE® machine is a little more expensive when purchased, but provides a better ROI (return on investment) due to reduced maintenance costs. LINUX®, on the other hand, has been ported to the Intel platform – most recently by Novell® who has purchased both SUSE® Linux and XIMIAM® Linux. Unfortunately, if you are not a technical person, Linux isn’t quite there yet.

So, you don’t want to buy new hardware – and you aren’t ready to move to Linux? There are other applications available that will run on the Intel platform in the Windows environment.

NETSCAPE®, which has been around a long time, (the latest version is owned by AOL®) is somewhat bloated, but works fine.
MOZILLA®—available at—is another mature product (the ‘older’ version of Netscape®)
If you are interested in the latest greatest, have a look at FIREFOX® (browser) and THUNDERBIRD® (email) while you are on Mozilla’s website. Both of these are open source, available free for download from Mozilla. They are easy to install, easy to use, and customizable using ‘themes’ and add-on ‘extensions’.
Any of these browsers/email alternatives can be installed without removing Internet Explorer®. As with everything else, you will want to reboot your computer after installation just to make sure that things are properly registered in the Windows® registry.

Be aware, however, that these might not work for you. If you want to try one, go for it, if it doesn’t work out, uninstall it and go back to Internet Explorer®.

If you just want to use your computer and not deal with the current problems facing Microsoft® applications, get a MAC®.