Recently, I've run across all of the contraversy about Internet Explorer's supposed hole-filled security. Now, I won't say that it is completely secure. I understand that with ActiveX controls and other such things, there is some risk if precautions are not taken. However, I don't understand the vitiolic hate that IE has gotten recently. I've been using IE for years with nary a problem. So I ask, is IE safe? I take security very seriously. I don't run unsigned ActiveX controls or componants not signed by AuthentiCode. I have high cookie security settings, and I try to browse responsibly. I also have a robust firewall and AV program. So what is the risk? I love Internex Explorer, and I don't want to switch browsers if I don't have to.

Wikipedia lists ominous figures about the supposed unpatched flaws in IE. 25 for IE8. It doesn't go into any more detail about the nature and actual usefulness of these supposed holes.

There seems to be two sides to this issue, those who say to dump IE immedietly because it is the scum of the earth, and those who say that yes, there are risks; with a 90 percent market share, IE is widely used and therefore more often targeted, but they say that actually utilizing the security features and browsing smartly negates most if not all of these supposed threats, not to mention keeping up on the latest patches and updates through Automatic Updates. No software is safe, but with the proper steps, these risks can be mitigated.

Thank you for your time.

Peace out and God bless.

Edited by Cyber 14: n/a

7 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by fred sheehan

My 30 minutes for editing is up. Sorry for the double post.

Edit: upon further research, IE seems to have gotten its bad rap mostly from IE6, and the design has gotten better since then. Correct me if I'm wrong.


IE8 is pretty secure, the main issue with IE is that it is so tightly integrated with the OS, so if it is compromised, it can be only few seconds before your entire OS is compromised.

As you are already aware, ActiveX controls are the biggest source of these, and as the user says 'yes' to these, no anti virus can stop these from infecting PC, as 'User said run it'.

If you are carefull, yes you can use it ok. But it only takes that once clicking 'yes' to find out the downsides.

Personally, I use firefox!


So just make sure I know what I'm running as far as ActiveX controls and I should be fine? IE 7 and 8 put up more walls between itself and the OS than IE 6 had.

I personaly haven't encountered any ActiveX controls in a while, and I have it set to inform me if any ActiveX controls want to be downloaded, and only if they have been signed by Authenticode. Unsigned ones are refused outright. Most of them I've encountered are web-based programs by big-name legit companies run on the company's website. (Macromedia Flash Player updaters ect.) What are some other examples?

Thanks for the reassurance.

Peace out and God bless.


Yes if you always check what is asking to be run, you are 99.9% safe, activeX controls can hook computer system processes, not just browser processes, (which is why they can be a problem), most infections are 'asked for', we all know people who just 'click the install boxes' they don't even read them mostly!

"Can I install this piece of malware please" and they click 'YES' before they even know what it is going to do.

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