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Internet Explorer’s reputation has gone on a steep downhill trajectory over the last few years. Today, when many computer users hear “Internet Explorer” they immediately think of uninstalling toolbars from their grandparents’ computers or encountering countless prompts to install the latest plugins.
But Internet Explorer might be more than just a minor annoyance. It might be a threat to your system’s security. More and more PC security experts are recommending that users not only stop using Internet Explorer, but that they uninstall it from their computers completely.
Why is Internet Explorer dangerous?
Internet Explorer has always been fairly equal to Chrome and Firefox in terms of security. However, the major difference between the three browsers is that hackers tended to target Internet Explorer users more than anyone else. After all, many people are forced to use Internet Explorer at work on corporate networks – which are a tempting target for hackers – or they’re users who don’t know how to install additional browsers on their computer. In either case, these users pose a tempting target for hackers.
But one recent bug appears to be more dangerous than any other type of Internet Explorer security problem. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, this bug allows hackers to easily install malware onto a victim’s computer. The malware is then used to access all files on the computer, install additional malicious programs, and exploit plenty of other vulnerabilities.
Because of this bug, PC security experts are saying that using Internet Explorer 9 is a “gamble.” One computer security expert asked, “Why take the risk? I’d stay the heck away.”
The bug has already done serious damage to at least a few corporate networks around the world. In fact, the exploit wasn’t discovered until a PC security advisor named Eric Romang started investigating servers that were being used by hackers.
The problem reportedly affects Internet Explorer 9 and all earlier versions, although the trial version of Internet Explorer 10 is not affected.
Stop using Internet Explorer? It’s not always that easy
If you’re using a computer at work, then you might not have the privileges needed to install or uninstall programs on your computer. That means you’re stuck using Internet Explorer until your network administrator is notified of the problem.
In other cases, the platforms used by certain businesses are incompatible with browsers that aren’t Internet Explorer. It’s 2012, and that simply isn’t acceptable any more. If these problems are affecting your workplace, then it’s important to notify your tech support department immediately and work at getting the problem fixed.
Change is coming with Internet Explorer 10
October 26 will be a historic day for Microsoft. The company is releasing Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, and the Microsoft Surface on that date, all of which seek to transform the image that the company has made for itself over the past 20+ years.
How will IE10 be different? Apparently, it’s faster and more secure. It’s also optimized for use with touchscreens and will include plenty of integration features with Windows 8. You can test drive Internet Explorer 10 for yourself by visiting the official Microsoft website here.