Safe Browsing

December 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Internet, Online services, Security, Software | 4 Comments

Microsoft today released an out-of-schedule fix for Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser. If you are on automatic updates, you will get a request to reboot soon into your day. If not, you want to ensure you install this one.

Already over 2 million computers have been infected with this issue from some 10,000 infected web sites. Simply going to such a web site with IE will get you infected.

The main issue here is that there will be more such troubles for IE. Its design, particularly the inherently insecure ActiveX, makes it highly susceptible to exploits. As its the most commonly used, its also the largest target.

To reduce your exposure, the tech rags recommend using the free Firefox browser instead – or Opera or Google’s Chrome, etc.
http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/products/firefox/

Set it as your default when asked. Firefox has the added advantage of a large stable of add-ins. The key one here is called NoScript. This prevents scripts running until you OK the site. (the first time)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/722

You can still use IE in the few places where it’s required like Microsoft Updates, if you know it’s a safe site.

I also suggest the WOT add-in to flag you off of questionable and dangerous sites. It’s saved me a few times.
http://www.mywot.com
David

4 Comments »

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  1. Microsoft is treating this as a big deal. I just got a separate email from them directly. As they note if affects all versions of from 5 forward and every supported operating system from Win2000 forward.
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS08-078.mspx

    MS is hosting 2 webcasts about it too.

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  2. […] 19, 2009 at 3:55 am | In Internet, Online services, Security, Software, Web Apps | Several times here, I’ve mentioned the value of browser add-ons to warn you off of links to questionable sites. […]

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  3. […] I’ve recommended some tools that help keep your browsing safe. Web sites are the most common way of getting infections now. Not to mention tracking your […]

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  4. WOT has been selling user data to third parties and is now blocked in Firefox. Their web site mentions nothing about it and their home page is blocked by a pop-up pushing the tool for mobile – even if you’re not on a mobile. Not recommended anymore.

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