Stop using Internet Explorer: Users are at risk from a major bug

| Technology

Stop using Internet Explorer: Users are at risk from a major bug

If you are one of the 23.3% of people in the United Kingdom that still uses Microsoft’s web browser Internet Explorer then you are at risk of catching a major bug after a security flaw was discovered.  

This bug could allow hackers to gain access to your computer and take full control of it. Microsoft has said there had already been “limited, targeted attacks”.

The error within Internet Explorer affects versions 6 to 11, which are pre-loaded on Windows computers as the default browser.

Microsoft has warned user that “an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user”. By gaining these rights, it would allow the hacker to do anything from changing passwords to installing or removing software.

Hackers would even be able to install malware onto your computer and steal personal data, track your online behaviour or gain full control of your computer.   

The problem is so serious that the US computer emergency readiness team and the UK counterpart have said that Internet Explorer users should “consider employing an alternate browser” until Microsoft have fixed the flaw.

FireEye, the security firm that pointed out the flaw to Microsoft, recommends that if you are unable to switch browsers, then you should at least disable Internet Explorer’s Flash plug-in. However this isn’t as safe or secure as simply switching to a different browser.

If you wish to avoid this Internet Explorer flaw then we would recommend you switch to Googles own browser, Google Chrome which is the dominant browser in the UK with 40.25% of the market. If you dislike Chrome other alternatives would be Safari (for Mac users) which holds 18.93% of the market share or Firefox which holds 13.61%.

Microsoft is working hard to patch up this problem but those of you who are still running Windows XP will not receive any updates to fix this bug, due to Microsoft discontinuing support for this operating system earlier this month.

So for those of you who still run Windows XP and use Internet Explorer it is vital for you to permanently change browsers! 

Luke Stanley