My best guess at this would be related to data type, but it can be caused many things such as firewall/antivirus programs to a bad connection. Try this page for a starting point, https://wiki.filezil...t.org/Data_Type
1) Do you have any idea what would cause the parsing error I described, and is there a workaround?
This is probably the least likely issue, but I wouldn't rule it out. There have been issues over the years of fake/infected copies of filezilla.
2) Is it likely that the security breach explains this error?
If you choose to stick with it, review your settings thoroughly and insure your install came from the official source. Of course most important but maybe inconvenient, disable the option to store your passwords.
3) Am I best advised to abandon FileZilla and download another FTP program?
I personally use SecureCRT as it fits my daily work needs, but it a paid program and a huge overkill for average FTP work. Prior to that I was using the free program WinSCP and as far as I know it stores the passwords in the Windows registry. (I'm assuming you are on Windows)
4) If so, which one?
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