Everyone has a favorite Internet browser. If yours happens to be Internet Explorer, you may want to switch to a different one.
Internet Explorer has numerous problems, but one of the worst is the current weakness in its security.
Hackers are taking advantage of this weakness and are creating new attacks that can put malware and viruses on your computer with just one accidental click of your mouse.
The hackers create websites that install the malware on your computer automatically. If you are using Internet Explorer and accidentally click on a wrong link that takes you to one of these websites, your computer could be infected in a matter of seconds.
Malware can slow your computer down, cause popups and use up your storage space. It can also be hard to identify and remove. In some cases, you might not notice the malware, which might not seem so bad until you realize the hackers have used it to steal your identity and access your email, social networks and other important websites.
“I’d say someone taking control of your computer is just the beginning of the worst case scenario,” said Adrian Sanabria, a security expert with 451research.com. “Because then they steal your info, get access to your email, etc.”
Some malware programs allow the hackers to access anything on your computer or Internet network. That means they can find your passwords, look up your credit card numbers and even operate your computer’s webcam to spy on you while you are using your computer or leave it on.
So what can you do to protect yourself from this type of malware?
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the best thing to do is stop using Internet Explorer completely, at least until the bug has been fixed. You can also disable your Adobe Flash plugin to prevent the malware from automatically downloading.
Microsoft is working to fix the problem but is not sure how long it could take.
What Internet browser do you use?
Image via Wikimedia Commons