Friday 27 June, 2014

Internet Explorer – What’s Wrong with It and Why You Should Switch

When it comes to web surfing, you have many different browsers to choose from, which makes it all the more surprising to me that so many people still use Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer was the old standby and it’s hard to fight inertia. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you may not care what browser you use because you don’t realize there are differences. But any tech expert, especially in the internet security business, will tell you that IE is dead to them and recommend that you change web browsers immediately.

Internet Explorer Safety Issues

The main problem with Internet Explorer is that it’s especially susceptible to malware attacks. It has many weaknesses that hackers can easily exploit. One simple reason for this is the same reason you’re still using it – it’s popular and it’s the old standby. Hackers target it because it has so many users, and they’ve had plenty of time to discover its weaknesses.

But aside from the simple explanation, another problem with Internet Explorer is that it doesn’t have the same defenses as other browsers. With IE, simply visiting a compromised website can infect your computer. There is no need for you to download anything. You simply hit the site and get infected.

This is because of two features of IE which were designed to expand functionality. These features are ActiveX and Active Scripting. Both features give websites more control over your browser and computer. While this can enhance the user experience, it’s not always a good thing. Hackers have exploited these features to their advantage.

Slow Fixes

Another problem with Internet Explorer is that it has a terrible track record when it comes to handling spyware programs. Microsoft is notoriously slow at fixing bugs. It can take months for a simple patch-up that should take days. The reason is that Microsoft fixes bugs on a set schedule, rather than responding immediately when there is a problem. Other browsers handle problems as they arise, and this is why they’re a better and safer choice.

Why Websites Won’t Work

An even simpler reason to switch to another browser is that many websites don’t work on Internet Explorer. You may have experienced this before. In fact, it’s a major reason why many people change. Microsoft doesn’t follow the same standards for interpreting code that others do. It also doesn’t keep up with new design features and technologies.

One final factor that makes Internet Explorer clunky is that it doesn’t offer automatic updates like other browsers do. Plugins that are out of date are an excellent opportunity for hackers to gain access to your computer.

If you’re still on the fence, give another web browser a test drive. Many of us fail to make the switch because it’s simply something new and different, and there’s a bit of adjustment required. But the sooner you get off of this sinking ship, the better shape you’ll be in.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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