ALERT! UPDATE: Microsoft Internet Explorer Bug Found How to protect yourself ALERT!

Published On May 20, 2014 | By Tom Huskerson | Alerts

Internet-Explorer61 MAY 2014 – Since the news broke about the Microsoft Internet Explorer bug various websites and news services have published ways to protect yourself. My first recommendation is that you immediately switch to another web browser. If you don’t have another browser on your computer go to Google.com or Firefox.com to download one or both of those browsers. Both are free. The Department of  Homeland Security has recommended you do this and stay with an alternative browser until Microsoft issues a patch to correct the issue. Another suggestion, if you are using Windows XP you need to update your operating system. XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and no security patches will be issued for that OS. Here are a few of the recommendations from other sites.

From ABCNews.com; Bill Carey, Vice President of marketing at Siber Systems suggests,

Update Your Software

Make sure you’re current on your software updates so any security loopholes are closed. People using the 12-year-old Windows XP operating system are especially vulnerable since Microsoft announced earlier this month it would no long provide technical assistance and automatic updates to protect users’ PCs. Consider upgrading your operating system.

Close Your Browser

When you’re done with using a website, log off and close your browser. This will help prevent others from gaining access to your account.

Control Your E-Mail

Have a disposable e-mail address. Only give your actual e-mail address out to who people who need it. Carey said this will help you avoid mass spam and keep your inbox clean.

Have A Strong Password

Carey advises using a “keystroke” method for making passwords and creating a “keyboard mapping system.” One key to the left and one up would make the password “tinmen” change to “47gh2g.”

Disable E-Mail Photos

Disable pictures on your email and read it in plain text. The sender will not be able to identify if you have opened the e-mail.

Other sources:

Mashable.com

CNET.com

PCWorld.com

ORIGINAL POST : A report by FireEye indicates that a serious bug in the Microsoft Internet Explorer could allow your computer to be taken over by hackers. Researchers have discovered that hackers have exploited the bug and created a new type of attack.

How does it work? Hackers have set up a website that installs malware when you visit it; commonly known as a drive by download. (See terminology) If you visit the website while using the Internet Explorer browser malware downloads into your computer and gives a stranger total control.  Your computer may become a bot or part of a botnet  and you would never know it.  That means a hacker has total control of your computer and can access your files, steal passwords and spy on you. If you are at work then the hacker has access to everything you have access to do. How serious is this? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recommended that people ditch Internet Explorer until there’s a patch.

But  that is not the only problem. This bug is everywhere. A lot of computers use Windows including your bank’s ATM and point of sales systems in stores everywhere. This bug is dangerous because it affects every version of the web browser from IE6 through IE11. That’s more than half of the browsers in use right now, according to the analysis website NetMarketShare. People still using Windows XP are especially vulnerable since Microsoft no longer supports that OS and does not issue security patches for it.

Microsoft issued a security bulletin stating, “On completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect our customers.”

This attack relies on a few of Internet Explorer’s extra features. So you will need to disable them until Microsoft issues a patch.  FireEye advises users to disable the Adobe Flash plugin. Microsoft engineers also suggest running your browser in the “Enhanced Protect Mode.” However experts say that will likely ruin your online experience. So the next logical move would be to use an alternate browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Apple Safari. But you need more knowledge than just switching browsers . Try the excellent article from Time.com  to protect yourself.

Breaking It Down

Here is why you should always have an alternative browser on your computer. Nearly black person I know uses Internet Explorer, except me. Its the default browser on so many computers that its almost impossible to avoid.  As matter of fact I’ll bet not many black people know of any other browser by name. Now is the time to correct that.  I use Google Chrome and I am very happy with it.

These bugs are ubiquitous. There is not a piece of software made that a hacker will not discover some way to crack into and use for their own purposes. This bug is serious because every computer in the world use Microsoft software. Almost every ATM uses Windows XP and very few banks have switched over to something else even though Microsoft says they’re on their own with it.  I suggest you call your bank and ask them what they plan to do about this. It is your money you know. But when was the last time the Department of Homeland Security urged you to dump a browser? I don’t remember ever. So now you know you how serious this is.

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. He attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has returned to focus on writing both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle. Most recently Tom has launched the blog African American Cyber Report. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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