Since 1995, Internet Explorer has been the web browser that came with Microsoft Windows. For a lot of people, it was probably the browser you used the first time you surfed the Internet. It’s familiar, it’s convenient, and it works. Even today, while Microsoft has discontinued Internet Explorer in favour of Edge, people are still using Internet Explorer over its replacement (internet explorer 7.71%; Edge 4.18%).
In 2003, Internet Explorer peaked at 95% of global usage after Microsoft won the “browser war” with Netscape. In 2018, its usage has declined dramatically with the launch of Firefox (in 2004) and Google Chrome (in 2008).
Microsoft still maintains Internet Explorer, but there are many reasons why you should stop using Internet Explorer and move to a modern alternative.
- Often, it is better to avoid popular software. Malicious attackers target software that is most popular as the impact will be much more significant. Internet Explorer is still popular, and it is especially prevalent in enterprises. This means companies have a security vulnerability on all corporate computers.
- Internet Explorer is not Microsoft’s top priority, and maintenance of IE can be sluggish. Patching security bugs for Internet Explorer can come out months after they are first discovered. Either because the workforce is now working on making Edge a better web browser, or the possibility that Internet Explorer is so old that it can be challenging to keep patching a boat that wants to sink.
- Vulnerabilities in Active X are a real concern as it is the framework for Microsoft Products. From 2007 until 2018, North Korean hackers were able to spy on South Korean targets with a zero-day malware exploiting Active X. While there is no known use of these types of attacks happening in North America, it is best to avoid where there might be a potential vulnerability. Active X was initially used for extensions for your browser. Modern browsers have a better and safer way to interact with browser extensions, and there are a vast number of available apps for your browser now available.
I understand that you’ve been using Internet Explorer for 22 years and it feels comfortable to use, but all web browsers work in mostly the same way. Many browsers will even help you transfer bookmarked pages from Internet Explorer.
Options like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are as popular as they are trusted. Depending on the features you are looking for, other good options are Opera and Midori. Or you can give Microsoft Edge a try if you want to stay within the Microsoft eco-system.
For any questions, please contact Next Digital.