'Time to Ditch It!' - Important Security Information for IE6 Users

author/source: Mark Ramskill

'Time to Ditch It!' - Important Security Information for IE6 Users

Six short years ago, after the death of Netscape, the web was dominated by one browser, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6. Today, things are very different, with a plethora of superior browsers available and actively used by millions of users - Firefox, Safari, Opera and new boy on the block, Chrome.  Oh, and not forgetting about Internet Explorer 8.

Incredibly though, up to 20% of the world’s browsing is still undertaken using the old man of the web, IE6.

Fair enough, until you consider the security vulnerabilities that hackers have recently discovered and are now actively exploiting, targeting not just personal and normal business users, but the likes of Google and Yahoo's own infrastructure.

If you have a company IT department that still hasn't got round to upgrading from IE6 or have friends or parents that still use this ticking timebomb, here are important reasons why they should upgrade or switch as a matter of urgency:

  • Security - If the likes of Google, Yahoo! and other major companies such as Adobe were compromised, due to people running IE6, then it goes without saying that your own security or that of the business you work for is at risk too. It's no use upgrading once your information has been stolen
  • Microsoft itself wants you to ditch IE6. The Microsoft Security Research & Defense Blog “recommends users of IE6 on Windows XP upgrade to a new version of Internet Explorer and/or enable DEP.”
  • Australia, Germany and France have recently issued security warnings about Internet Explorer, asking citizens to switch to other browsers. If governments are suggesting you switch, maybe it's time to sit up and take notice.
  • There have been at least 142 vulnerabilities in IE6, a disturbing 22 of which are not yet patched. That's a lot of weak spots for futher exploits.  You wouldn't wear a wetsuit with 22 holes, so why use a browser with 22 potential ways for hackers to exploit your pc or network and access your data?

Do the smart thing - upgrade, or better yet, switch browser!

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