Can Internet Explorer Be Trusted?

With a massive security flaw emerging in late April of this year, Internet Explorer quickly became the notorious web browser to avoid. Though the issue was resolved, tech watchdogs around the world warned that Internet Explorer was not to be trusted. Team High Tech Crime, a part of the Netherlands police force, advised Internet users to refrain from using Internet Explorer unless "absolutely necessary." Now, a few months later, is it still inadvisable to surf the web with this simple browser, one of the oldest in existence? Can Internet Explorer be trusted?

What Happened?

FireEye, a security organisation, was the first to discover the security issue within the browser. The flaw was a zero-day exploit which could allow remote execution if users mistakenly visited an attack website. There seemed to be ongoing threats of attack. Microsoft eventually admitted knowledge of this flaw, but stated that the attacks were very limited in scope.

A Solution is Found

A patch update was created by Microsoft, fixing this vulnerability in Internet Explorer. At the time of the breaking news, most national security organisations recommended using alternative browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, or using special protective technology such as Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), which could be obtained via download.

Following the release of the update, some security organisations agreed that Internet Explorer was now safe to use, but cautioned to make sure to install the update. While some still maintained the suggestion to use different web browsers, security organisations in the UK and US supported Internet Explorer and focussed on pushing the installation of the Microsoft update.

Always Update

It seems now that Internet Explorer is likely as secure as other browsers. Security organisations have reiterated the need for continual updates of software as well as general Internet safety, such as avoiding suspicious looking sites and ignoring emails with unfamiliar links. It seems that most can agree that smart Internet and computer behaviour is the best way to protect yourself from security risks while online.