How many times have we heard people say that? Well, they’re saying it again even louder now after a major security flaw has been announced in the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.
Is this deja vu or just a bad nightmare?
Seriously, how many of these security breaches have we had from Microsoft?
This time, no less than The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has advised computer users to abandon Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers have used to launch attacks. So has the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team and its UK counterpart, suggesting that some IE users may want to “consider employing an alternate browser” untill the flaw is patched.
That is unprecedented in my memory.
They’re all saying Microsoft sucks.
This vulnerability – called the “zero-day exploit” – affects all versions of the browser and allows attackers to install malware on your computer without your permission. That malware could be used to steal personal data, track online behavior, or gain control of the computer.
Users of newer versions of Windows can probably expect a security patch soon. But the million who still have Windows XP – which Microsoft no longer supports – will get no such fix. They are out of luck. There are millions and millions of them out there.
All I can say to you Windows users is if you insist on using anything from Microsoft, switch your browser to Firefox or Chrome. Do not use IE anymore, now or in the future. How many times will you keep thinking they have it fixed only to hear one of these warnings?
But I have better advice: Dump your PC and get a Mac. Then all these worms and virus scare and the Microsoft vulnerabilities are a thing of the past. You could try Linux, too. It’s secure. But Linux is never going to me more than a platform around which angry geeks and nerds gather to trash talk every other operating system. Yeah, Linux works. But who cares?
It’s really either a Windows world or a Mac world. It’s you choice which OS you choose.
If you are already a Mac user, this latest mess isn’t really an issue for you unless you are running Internet Explorer in a virtual environment through Parallels, or running Windows natively on their computer via Apple’s Boot Camp. Your Mac files and data will remain safe, but the files and days on the windows portion of your hard drive is vulnerable to attacks.