About a month ago, news broke that there was a critical security flaw with the Internet Explorer web browser and we advised our clients, friends and colleagues to stop using it. Some people have asked us: is it safe to use Internet Explorer again?
The answer is… maybe.
Here is what you need to check before you start using Internet Explorer again.
1. Have critical security updates and Windows software patches been installed on your work network?
Microsoft had ssued fixes for the Internet Explorer security bug (more background available here – Stop Using Internet Explorer Until Security Issue is Fixed). Our clients have all had their servers and workstations updated to guard against the issue.
If you are not one of our clients, check with your IT department or company to confirm this. Do NOT use Internet Explorer unless you have checked that things are up to date.
If you need help checking the status of security updates, please click the link at the bottom of this blog to sign up for a Network Security Audit.
2. Get Rid of Windows XP Machines
Even though Microsoft ended up issuing a security update for Windows XP machines, they are still big potential security vulnerabilities moving forward. You are protected for now but Microsoft will not be issuing any further updates for Windows XP machines.
3. Make Sure Your Home Computers are Updated
Most people don’t have ongoing proactive support for their home computer. Before you start using Internet Explorer at home, check to see if Windows updates have run. You can do this in the following way:
- Open the Start menu
- In the search box type “Windows Update”
- Click on the item that says “Windows Update”
- In the left menu pane, click “Check for updates”
- If updates are found, click “Install updates”
Many people (including me) have permanently switched to alternative browsers like Chrome or Firefox because of security and performance issues with Internet Explorer. Unfortunately there are some websites and online software that will only function properly with Internet Explorer and you don’t have much of a choice.