Microsoft recently announced that its Internet Explorer (IE) browser has a major security flaw that could allow hackers to slip malicious code into commonly used websites. The vulnerability exploits Adobe Flash and could allow hackers to download apps, install malware, create new user accounts, change or delete stored data, and generally use the system as their own.
All IE versions from 6 through 11 are potentially vulnerable. To check your version of IE, click Help in the Menu bar and then About Internet Explorer.
To protect yourself, do one or more of the following:
- Update IE as directed by Microsoft. A fix has been issued for all Windows- operating systems, including Windows XP, which Microsoft stopped supporting April 8. The easiest way to update is to enable Automatic Updates in Windows. If you're uncertain your computer has automatic updates, or you haven't enabled them, click here for support on how to manually update IE.
- Download the latest security update for Adobe Flash Player. Updates for Windows, Mac and Linux versions are available.
- Use another browser instead of IE, such as Chrome or Firefox. If you still use Windows XP, Google will continue supporting Chrome on Windows XP through April 2015. Firefox recommends that you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 to run the latest version of Firefox. Firefox also recommends switching to the Opera browser on Windows XP.