It seems like we’ve been here so many times before. Security researchers are once again warning about a serious flaw in Internet Explorer that could allow hackers to take over your computer remotely.
You may have heard that last week hackers broke into a Department of Labor website. The hackers reprogrammed the site to target this exact flaw on the computers of anyone who visited.So, the bottom line is that hackers know about this flaw, and it’s being actively exploited. Even up-to-date security software might not protect you. Not good news!
Fortunately, this flaw is a problem only in Internet Explorer 8. I know many of you use other Web browsers, but you probably know someone who still uses IE8. Please pass this warning on to them so their computer isn’t compromised.
Not sure what browser you use? This site will tell you in a second. Not sure what a browser is? No worries; I’ve got an explanation right here.
At this time, Microsoft doesn’t have a fix for the security flaw. Your best bet if you’re running IE 8 is to upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 or 10, or switch Web browsers.
In fact, I constantly recommend that people do this anyway. Not only is Internet Explorer 8 weak in the security department – and getting worse as time passes – it also lacks support for the latest Web standards.
If you want to get the most out of the modern Internet, and make things more pleasant for Web developers everywhere, upgrading is a good idea.
If you’re running Windows Vista or 7, upgrading is as simple as going to Windows Update and selecting the Internet Explorer 9 update (Windows 7 users can upgrade to IE10). Learn more about using Windows Update here.
Windows XP users can’t upgrade any higher than Internet Explorer 8. That means you’ll need to use a different browser instead. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are both free, and you can use the latest versions, which are as fast and secure as Internet Explorer 10 – even more in some cases.
As a side note, if you are using Windows XP, you should start planning for your computer’s future. XP’s end of life is coming up fast. Find out what that means and how it will affect you.
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