The German Government has come out this morning and urged all users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to temporarily stop using the product. This is due to a known bug in the web browser which makes PCs vulnerable to attack by hackers.
The bug was identified over the weekend and Microsoft confirmed on Monday that there was an issue with the current version of Internet Explorer, which allows hackers to exploit a bug in the software. The bug enables hackers to infect the PC of someone who visits a malicious website (a website infected with malware). This malware then allows the hacker to take full control of the victim’s computer. Microsoft is expected to release a new version of Internet Explorer which combats the issue within the week.
As a temporary fix, Microsoft has released a program called ‘Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit’ which is free to download and will prevent hackers from taking advantage of the Internet Explorer bug. The biggest issue with the fix is that you need to download, install and manually configure the program to the settings in the installation guide. Many experts are suggesting it is easier to stop using Internet Explorer until an update is released by Microsoft and temporarily use a different internet browser.
Download the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)
Read over EMET the installation guide
Read more about the German Government’s warnings
Microsoft Internet Explorer had been the leading internet browser for the past decade, but as of this year, it has been surpassed by Google Chrome, with Mozilla Firefox not far behind. Switching internet browsers was a hard decision for me, but two and a half years ago, I made the leap and have never looked back.
Microsoft produces some very high quality pieces of software. Internet Explorer is not one of them. It is slow, clunky and most importantly, it is the least secure internet browser on the market. This is largely due to the dominance of the Internet Explorer product in the browser marketplace over the past decade; viruses have been targeted at exploiting loopholes and bugs which appear in the software.
The latest security bungle by the team at Microsoft is very concerning. There are more than 2.2 billion people using the internet worldwide and with an estimated 33 per cent of users using the product, more than 700 million people are vulnerable. The reaction of the German Government is definitely warranted, as the average internet user won’t have access to the EMET release, or have the technical ability to configure the program. Changing browsers is the only other option.
There are three main browsers for you to choose from when making the change. Mozilla Firefox is my favourite web browser. Firefox is fast, secure, easy to use, has a convenient bookmarks bar and allows add-on programs. Google Chrome is the clear second option. A little harder to figure for the beginner user who wants to change settings, Chrome is well designed, has a nice home panel with your most visited websites displayed and most importantly, reacts well with websites. The third option is Apple Safari. Designed and installed standard on all Apple computers, Safari is a well rounded browser.
So switch today and give a new web browser a chance while Internet Explorer is vulnerable. You may just find you enjoy the experience so much that you never change back!
Please note all of the following web browsers are free of charge to download and use.
Download Mozilla Firefox
Download Google Chrome
Download Apple Safari