The Department of Homeland Security is advising users to stop using the popular Internet Explorer browser after a vulnerability was discovered over the weekend. They’re warning that it’s serious enough for people to not use the browser — at least until it’s been patched.
This vulnerability affects IE versions 6 through 11 and could lead to the complete compromise of an affected system, according to the DHS warning.
Statistics vary as to how many people actually use Internet Explorer but CNet says it’s between 23%-55% of the desktop browser market. In either case, the flaw affects a huge number of browsers being actively used.
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are not affected by this flaw. You can export your bookmarks and other settings to those browsers very easily.
In addition to possibly switching to an alternative web browser, the government is recommending the use of a free Microsoft security tool known as EMET, or the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, to thwart potential attacks.
Although many security experts say EMET is helpful in staving off attacks, others warn that it can cause systems to crash due to incompatibility with some software programs.