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Internet Explorer Security Risks

Monday, February 22, 2010 -

Some time during December of 2009 Chinese hackers made attacks on Google and other large internet based companies, in a bid to gain information on the accounts of prominent human rights activists. These attacks were made as an assault on Google and it’s movement to free china of it’s censorship laws. Though this issue doesn’t relate to the everyday person, what does relate is the way in which the hackers were able to get the information.

Using a security flaw within the Internet Explorer program, hackers are able to upload a program within IE on to your computer allowing them to see what keystrokes you are using. This means that they could potentially learn what your passwords, bank account details including internet banking login and transaction password, along with any other password you’ve typed while the program has been installed.

Have they fixed the issue?

Microsoft have released a patch for the browsers, however, as Microsoft have not had automatic updates for their Internet Explorer Programs you are required to download it and install it yourself from the Microsoft website. All of the IE versions had this security lapse. Therefore, as long as you are browsing using any version of Internet Explorer you are potentially at risk.

What does this mean for the user?

Many experts are advising that you switch to another browser. These include, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. We personally recommend Firefox. These is due to it’s ability to automatically update itself. This takes the hassle out of having to worry about your security updates as far as your browser is concerned. If you are hell bent of staying with Internet Explorer you’re first point of action should be to download the latest version of Internet Explorer (If you don't know which version you have just go to the Microsoft site and download the latest version). At this current point that is IE 8. This should come with the latest security upgrade included. This will overwrite your current version of IE. If you’re unable to download Internet Explorer due to the fact that you have a pirated version of windows (we know you’re out there) do yourself a favor and use one of the other programs. Having someone steal your internet banking details is far more of a hassle then the five minuets it takes to download and install Firefox.

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