Has Internet Explorer ever been safe?

Well yes, but not strictly for the reasons people think. It was once safe back in the day where there were little vulnerabilities to play havoc with the software; back in a time where Internet usage was innocent, and people wanted to create websites about interpreting the mindset of a cat called Jimbo.

I’ve written about the student browser war before, and let’s face it, I got some harsh criticism for it. I wasn’t wrong though. I’m well aware within recent findings; those reported on the ZDNet Zero Day blog, that Firefox is one of the most vulnerable applications for Windows, although it doesn’t say anywhere that the actual application is insecure. It may well be perfectly fine on other platforms, which would say more about the Windows platform than the browser itself.

This morning, I put forward the claim that Internet Explorer, in recent times (this decade) has not been secure, and shouldn’t be used unless absolutely necessary.

Back in the day when Internet Explorer was more of an experiment than a viable browser, the iexplore.exe application was heavily tied into Windows, the explorer.exe application. If one faltered, more likely to be the former, the other would almost automatically screw up too. This meant, you got a bug or fault with Internet Explorer, that same bug would be replicated in Windows Explorer. This caused serious issues, hence why Internet Explorer 7 was entirely separate from Windows and could be easily updateable and removable.

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When a doctor of computing engineering tells the world not to watch or download porn through Internet Explorer, a world class and highly respected writer, that’s when you know a browser has a problem. This new-ish threat which came to light about a severe vulnerability in the browser, when reported by the BBC live on the BBC News channel, said:

“…people should stop using the Internet Explorer web browser, and revert to a rival browser. Internet Explorer, of course being known around the world, and having the dominant marketshare of browsers, should not be used because of a reported zero-day attack.” [Tuesday 16th, around 3pm GMT]

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