The time has come for Internet Explorer (i.e. – IE… ha ha) to go the way of the dinosaurs unless Microsoft overhauls it and starts over. The latest security flaw that has been revealed should be the last straw for users and motivate them to find an alternative for their internet browsing needs. The flaw, which is so bad the Department of Homeland Security is telling people to not use IE, leaves all Windows machines open for attack. One simple solution is to stop using it as your primary browser. Personally, I don’t use IE unless I absolutely have to which is not very often.
Here are my reasons why I don’t and you should consider dumping it forever.
Being Popular Doesn’t Mean Safer
IE has been around a very long time, bundled with the most popular operating system pretty much everywhere. Since IE functionality is wrapped into the OS functionality and it’s right there most people have no reason to look at other browsers. Hackers know this and put all their efforts to cracking it. Since the browser is coupled into the OS the worst exploits allow hackers to gain full access to your computer. Bad.
Microsoft Follows Their Own Rules
The internet is based on standards that software follows. How to display a website, communicate with servers, secure your data, etc… Microsoft follows them, mostly, but in Microsoft fashion they do things their own way away from the industry standards. Hackers know this and attack Microsoft’s uniqueness of doing their own thing. If you take the latest IE exploit you can see why you aren’t seeing other web browsers listed. The exploit is for the unique way IE works where the other browsers follow standards. This is why there are a growing number of sites where IE doesn’t work quite right, objects don’t load properly or flat-out fail.
IE is not treated separate from the OS
Microsoft released Windows patches on Tuesdays. Patch Tuesday as the IT folks call it. This includes IE patches as well. So Microsoft may have a fix for a security flaw, if they come up with it on a Wed. you have to wait until the following Tues. to get it. This means you have more days of exposure to any exploit. Other browsers have their own patching and updating built right into the browsers. When patches for any bugs or security flaws are created they are released as soon as possible.
Microsoft Hasn’t Realized Users Have Multiple Devices
IE has no functionality to synchronize bookmarks or settings across multiple devices. Firefox and Chrome both have this. When you bookmark a site it’s available everywhere you have the browser. With IE user’s have ‘home’ bookmarks, ‘work’ bookmarks, device bookmarks, and so on. Wouldn’t it be nice to bookmark something on your Windows work computer and access it at home on your iPad? You can with pretty much any browser but IE.
IE is Windows Only
IE is only available on Windows. There is no mobile iOS or Android version, no Mac version (but you can get Safari on Windows), there are no other non-Windows based systems you can get IE on. Users today don’t operate that way. Firefox and Chrome is available on almost everything.
Wrapping it up, go and make the switch. You will be happier and enjoy the added functionality and flexibility you will gain from another browser. The two that I recommend are Chrome and Firefox with Chrome being my top choice. Move on.
End of line.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.