Homeland Security actually advised people to stop using Internet Explorer until it was fixed.
While Microsoft did quickly release a patch, this latest attack simply highlights the long standing overall vulnerability of Internet Explorer. There are, however, multiple reasons why people should consider using other browsers instead of IE.
Internet Explorer Displays Websites Differently Than Other Browsers
Anyone that’s ever built a website has likely experienced problems ensuring the website is compatible with IE. Most Internet browsers follow a set of similar coding standards to ensure that websites look and act consistently no matter what browser is being used.
Internet Explorer, however, has its own set of coding rules. This often means that websites display incorrectly, or they don’t work at all. Website developers must spend hours trying to tweak their websites just to make sure that it works on just one browser.
Internet Explorer Isn’t Really User Friendly
Internet Explorer doesn’t make it easy to remember bookmarks over multiple devices. Browsers like Firefox and Chrome allow a user to create an account. Within this account, the browser stores bookmarks and other preferences. To retrieve this information, a person simply needs to log into his/her account. Internet Explorer does not have this feature, so users have no way of retrieving information, like bookmarks, that they stored in the browser on other devices.
Additionally, Internet Explorer isn’t compatible Mac devices. Microsoft stopped supporting the browser on Macs back in 2003, which means that newer model devices are not able to install the browser. While some people have created workarounds to install IE on Macs, most Mac users don’t even bother.
There’s Always Going to be Security Risks
In May 2014, news arrived about a new vulnerability in IE 8. While security flaws can always arise, the problem with Microsoft is that they take a long time to create patches. This particular flaw was discovered in October 2013. Yet it was May 2014, and the company had still not released a patch. It took until June 2014 to release the patch.
To make matters worse, IE doesn’t automatically update out-of-date plugins and extensions. This is an easy point of entry for hackers. Other browsers prompt users when it’s time to update the browsers.
And hackers won’t stop trying to attack IE. It’s been around a long time, and it’s still used by a lot of people. Combined with other vulnerabilities and issues with IE, it’s better to use a different browser.
Tell us about your own browser security experiences in the comments!