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Set Up for Failure by Security Systems

I must say that I agree with Alison. Lately I care about security very much. I'm forced to maintain multiple browsers on my equipment because it happens to be my personal problem that I spend a lot of time with browser technology. For two years or more I've barely touched Internet Explorer's security features because of the leaky, tricky, buggy mess I long ago concluded that they represent. Alas, last week I did some brief security testing and forgot to reinstate high security afterward. It took just one idle hour of web surfing on low security before some pathological web site designer leapt down the throat of my PC through the Swiss cheese that is IE. He totally messed up my computer. I'm willing to admit that it was my fault, but somehow that's cold comfort when you're on crutches afterward.

I happen to be technical enough to go through Microsoft Windows with a fine-toothed comb, twiddling bits over here and checking for secret compartments over there, but in this case even that strategy didn't fix the intrusion. I had to scrub the box back to the bare metal and reinstall two years of software, all merely to get Mr. Psychotic Web Marketer off my case, and my PC stabilized. Trust me, that's a lot of software application preferences to change, just to get my workflow back up to speed. "Not happy, Jan," as we say down here. Thank you IE, I don't think. I ought to use a disk imaging package, but I really don't want to spend my life preparing for every stupid accidental security breach. A computer shouldn't require the management of a nuclear power plant.

The first reason we still really need a browser war, then, is just so that we can have products that let us surf the web in relative safety, with some protection against our own temptations, absentmindedness, and vulnerability. I don't mean safe from computer vulnerability—I mean "safe at any speed," as in Ralph Nadar on cars. Thank you, everyone except IE. I just don't need those time bombs hanging around.

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