Monday, December 26, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Use Internet Explorer

Bold statement I know... My reasons have more to do with security and safety and nothing to do with speed or aesthetics. I prefer to split my time between Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Both are head and shoulders above Internet Explorer(IE) for numerous reasons, but I’ll give you the 12 most important ones.
  1. Safety – The bad guys target Internet Explorer.  The reason is simple; the more popular a software program is, the easier it is to exploit its weaknesses.
  2. Microsoft fixes bugs in Internet Explorer on a fixed schedule. The problem with that is vulnerabilities are not discovered on a schedule which means IE users are vulnerable to known bugs until the next scheduled update. Neither Firefox or Chrome limit themselves to a schedule. Once a bug is found it’s fixed and the update is rolled out immediately.
  3. Flash -  In Internet Explorer Flash exists as an ActiveX control (the little drop down pop up). ActiveX lacks necessary security and most of you wouldn’t understand (nor should you) how to configure ActiveX configuration options.
  4. Buggy browser extensions/plug-in’s are often targeted by bad. Firefox and Chrome check periodically for outdated extensions and alert you. Internet Explorer does nothing. 
  5. Continuity – To my knowledge, the most popular operating systems are Windows  7, Windows XP and Apples OS X. For these three operating systems, the most up-to-date version of Internet Explorer, version 9, runs on only Windows 7. Many of us use more than one computer and are likely to deal with more than one operating system. Firefox and Chrome provide a cross-platform experience (including Linux). Internet Explorer does not.
  6. If you use multiple pc’s, both Firefox and Chrome allow you to synchronize bookmarks and more between different computers. Internet Explorer (at least as of this article) can't do this.
  7. Anyone running a 64 bit version of Windows 7 may have to deal with the confusion over 32 and 64 bit versions of Internet Explorer. There is no such confusion with Chrome and Firefox.
  8. The developers of Firefox (Mozilla) and Chrome (Google) pay anyone who finds a bug in their browser and brings it their attention. Microsoft does not. The result is Firefox and Chrome being updated on a regular basis. You can't fix a problem you don't know about.
More than once I have gently nudged non-tech savy Windows users (family – not customers) away from Internet Explorer by removing the icon from their desktop, installing Chrome, changing the Chrome icon to IE's blue icon and changing the name under the icon to "Internet". Some may consider this skeptical, but when I have to spend 6 hours removing viruses from my parents computer on Christmas, I consider it and investment in quality family time.

Lastly, if you’re a Windows 7 user you can actually turn Internet Explorer off.
To do this, go to Control Panel -> "Programs and Features" -> "Turn Windows features on or off." Internet Explorer (be it version 8 or 9) is listed as a feature that can be turned off.
*I haven't tested this so if you turn off IE and your computer is having issues, turn it back on.*

1 comment:

  1. I have researched why people avoid to use IE because its not supported to any add-ons which we will get on firefox. I am still using firefox as my home browser. But i have read somewhere that IE is bit faster than firefox.
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