Don’t knock on IE too hard

Those of us who use computers a lot and know a fair bit about how they work often find ourselves avoiding Microsoft products. There are several reasons for choosing operating systems, browsers, and software made by other companies, but my recent research has led me to believe that low security standards is not something that we can really blame on Internet Explorer’s developers.

Is IE open to clickjacking attacks and malware more than browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Well, that largely depends on what type of attacks we are talking about. In general, though, I have to say that I have had more problems using IE than other browsers. The problems, however, don’t stem from low security standards. Instead, they are a result of Microsoft’s market dominance.

Cybercriminals know that most people use IE, so they focus on attacks that can infiltrate that browser’s security standards. Of course there are plenty of people who use Firefox and Google Chrome, but the vast majority use IE. Recognizing this and focusing their efforts on IE security allows cybercriminals to dupe more people into installing malware and clicking on objects hidden in invisible frames.

The truth is that Microsoft has done a lot to prevent clickjacking attacks in IE8. You can learn more about the innovative steps that they have taken at the IEBlog. You might notice that the security protocols developed by Microsoft in 2008 are the same measures being used by other developers now.

What does this mean for Microsoft? It means that they have a difficult fight ahead of them. Staying at the top of the industry means that more hackers will concentrate on their products. Which in turn means that Microsoft looks like it has poor security options to many internet users.

I guess it’s hard to be on top. I feel some sympathy for Microsoft. At the same time, I also agree with critics who have cited the company’s non-competitive tactics as a reason that IE is a prime target.

I’ll continue using non-Microsoft browsers for the foreseeable future to give myself increased protection. After spending a few days reading about Microsoft’s security issues, though, I won’t be so quick to blame them for clickjacking attacks and maleware susceptibility.

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