Right now, Microsoft is hurrying to fix a problem in its popular Web browser that was found over the weekend by security experts at FireEye. This bug is something that hackers have caught on to and are exploiting it as hard as they can.
Basically, hackers have began setting up websites that they are tricking people into visiting. Once you’re on the website, malware gets installed on your computer and it gives the hacker complete control of your entire computer. The hacker can do anything he wants, get access to your person information, passwords, email, and you might not even know it right away. That’s a pretty big problem for Internet Explorer.
This is especially dangerous for business owners. Anyone who gains control of a computer can spy on everything that you or your employees do, and also gain access to anything that your employees or yourself may have access to. What is even more dangerous about the situation is that Windows XP users don’t receive any more security patches. Unfortunately, the only option for XP users out there is to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1. Thanks, Microsoft.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said the people should just completely stop using Internet Explorer until a patch comes out to fix the problem. However, that isn’t really enough to fix the problem, as personal computers aren’t the only thing at risk. ATM’s, POS systems, and restaurant seating tools all use Internet Explorer as their default browser. It is completely possible for these things to be hacked as well, and if that ends up happening then we will have a way bigger problem on our hands that switching to Firefox simply won’t help.
There is hope though. The attack uses some of IE’s extra features, so one way around it is to simply just disable those features. If you’re going to keep using the browser, then you should at least disable Adobe Flash. You should also run your browser in Enhanced Protected Mode according to Microsoft’s team of engineers. Although this will probably ruin your online experience, it’s either that or changing browsers completely.
To disable the Flash plugin in IE, click on “Tools,” then “Manage Add-ons.”
This attack does not affect any other browsers besides Internet Explorer. If you are using Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or anything else then you should be fine. That is just one more reason to switch browsers. It is the easiest option, and being stubborn is going to get you into trouble.
Another crazy thing that you should also keep in mind is the fact that every single version of Internet Explorer between version 6 and version 11 is at risk. That means that over half of every web browser being used at this very moment is at high risk. Crazy right?
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