Internet Explorer 6: Out with the Old, In with the New

If you're one of the estimated 15 to 25 percent of web users still using Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) to surf the ‘net, we highly recommend that you add ditching this outdated browser in favor of a shiny, brand-new browser to your New Years' resolutions. Protecting the security of your personal computer and, ultimately, your website is equally important to its search engine optimization and social media marketing efforts.

Although coders and designers have railed against this once-ubiquitous browser for its incompatibility with the latest trends in graphics and user interfaces, fact is, using IE6 presents a serious security risk to each one of its users. In mid-December 2009, the networks of Google and 20 other companies were infiltrated by Chinese cyber-terrorists through a design flaw in IE6. If it's possible for hackers to access some of the most secured, sophisticated networks in the world, think about what damage they could do to a much smaller network that holds sensitive data.

According to the latest report, IE6 contains 144 invulnerabilities, and only 24 of which have been patched. Instead of waiting for patches for this archaic browser, take the time to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer or install a new browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome with up-to-date security capabilities.

While you're at it, if you're operating on Microsoft XP, you might as well give your operating system the old heave-ho. Microsoft 7, the latest offering from Bill Gates, certainly isn't Microsoft Vista. By installing Microsoft 7, IE6 is swapped out for user-friendly, system-compatible IE8. Switching your OS might set you back a bit, but the cost is relatively low compared to the loss of valuable data.

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