How Firefox Can Expose You

Album Cover: Various Positions

"Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya."
Leonard Cohen / Hallelujah

Posted on February 12, 2005 3:08 PM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Typically when you think about a Web browser exposing you, you're thinking of Internet Explorer and how it can (and most likely does) expose you to numerous exploits and vulnerabilities. Did you know that Firefox can expose you too?

Firefox (and Thunderbird too, actually) can expose you in a markedly different way.

Out of general curiosity last night, I ran tail -f on my site's access log. Within minutes I realized that both Firefox and Thunderbird have exposed my thoughts to the world. I saw hit after hit from both applications as they fetched my site's Atom feed.

For a while now, I've used Bloglines as a measurement for how many people subscribe to my feed and have shown at least some level of interest in the thoughts and information I share here. It wasn't until last night that I realized those 25+ subscribers most likely pale in comparison to the numbers that are tracking me via Firefox's Live Bookmarks and Thunderbird's headlines.

So if you're a blogger and you don't roll your own feed yet, you're missing out on a big opportunity to be exposed by a browser (or email client) in a good way for a change.

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