Sep 20, 2012

Should I ditch Internet Explorer over privacy concerns?

I've been reading a lot in the news about Internet Explorer privacy problems. Should I replace it with another browser? If so, which?

IE pretty much stinks at this point. Try Chrome, Firefox or Opera. I doubt you'll regret moving away from Internet Explorer. Many people have left it behind completely, and aren't looking back.

While there is a rather significant security issue (which I guess is pretty much analogous to privacy) at the moment, outside of the current zero-day exploit, IE has actually gotten much better over the years.  In fact, the biggest reoccurring security issue that I see related to IE is when people don't update it.  I still see IE6 being used sometimes, usually on Windows XP machines.  Now THAT is a good reason to ditch IE over security/privacy concerns, if only for a current version of IE.  Except I don't think that IE9 will run on XP, so in that situation you have to chose Chrome or Firefox.  Another issue, although less of a problem that people using hopelessly out of date builds of IE is that Active-X, which can and sometimes it used as an attack vector, is supported by IE, whereas Active-X is not supported by either Chrome or Firefox.


On the other hand, IE9 makes better use of hardware acceleration than other browsers, which at times can have quite a noticeable impact on speed.  Firefox and Chrome make better use of HTML5, on the other other hand.  On the other other other hand, IE9 has better built in anti-phishing features than other browsers, if that is a concern for you.  IE9 is not the slow old dog that IE of yesteryear was, and while there are legitimate concerns about the current security hole, a patch is expected on Friday, September 20.  I probably wouldn't use IE9 until after the patch, but after that I wouldn't be afraid to.


I use Chrome 90% of the time personally, and Opera and Firefox about 5% each.  I stopped using IE when it was IE7, and just never went back.  

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