Internet Explorer, or IE is the most used web browser today to surf the Internet (Tips on how to use the internet). This does not mean it is the most popular web browser and the only one you can use. IE simply comes bundled with the Windows operating system and it is the most dominant OS until now (Want to uninstall your Windows OS, read how to get rid of the windows operating system).
Due to its high market share in terms of browser use, Internet Explorer is also the most vulnerable browser today. Though a lot of Microsoft critics say it is not programmed properly, having a lot of security holes and vulnerabilities, it is more or less, a big target for hackers and other cyber criminals.
Internet Explorer and the Web Browser User Share
Currently, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer holds a huge chunk of the browser share. Depending on the company that did the statistics, the bundled browser has shares from 70 to 80 percent, while its closest competitor, Mozilla Firefox, an open source free browser only has 15 to 20 percent.
This browser clearly dominates the Internet. When you install a fresh copy of Windows into your computer, you don’t have to specify if you want to have Internet Explorer installed. It automatically installs into the system and sets itself as the default web browser. It may be very convenient to users who don’t want to download and install a browser from the Internet before they can surf but results to many problems and security risks.
Internet Explorer and Online Security
If you were given a gun and you were to hunt a deer, would you shoot the skinniest one you see or the fattest and biggest deer? You surely will go for the big one, right? The same thing goes with Internet Explorer and cyber-criminals.
Though there is no perfectly secure web browsers, hackers, scammers, and other people with malicious intent will simply have to target the browser that most people use. Once they find a way to compromise Internet Explorer, they will be able to do that to the millions of people using it.
Internet Explorer is very susceptible to spyware, drive-by downloads, abusive and annoying online advertising (pop-ups, banners), and malware like viruses and trojans. Exploits like buffer overflows that compromise not only the browser itself, but the whole operating system itself was also possible on unpatched or updated versions.
If you are really worried about your online security, you will want to avoid using a browser like Internet Explorer. There are many reasons why you should get rid of Internet Explorer aside from the security risks involved. Here are some other reasons:
- Faster web browsing
- More features (tabbed browsing, customizeable skins, download managers, pop-up blockers, etc.)
Removing Internet Explorer from your Computer?
Since it is quite risky to use IE when surfing the Internet, you may wonder why not get rid of it and use a different one. Well, to answer that, it is impossible to completely remove all traces of Internet Explorer from your computer.
IE is tightly integrated with the operating system that when if it is completely removed, it will result to a crippled system, a highly unstable one. Also, a lot of Windows services and applications require the use of Internet Explorer. A good example is the Windows Update Service, that uses IE’s engine to connect and download updates from the Microsoft website.
You may see certain tools and software that promise to completely remove Internet Explorer from your computer, those are probably scams that contain trojans. If they happen to work, you are left with an unstable or highly modified system that may even leave your computer prone to hackers.
The Best Way to Get Rid of Internet Explorer
So it is not possible to get rid of IE, the best way to get rid of it is to download and install a different web browser. Most, if not all browsers today are free to use and very easy to install. You don’t have to worry about paying licensing fees or very complicated configurations just to be able to use it.
There are a lot of alternatives to IE. Firefox, the most popular one next to Internet Explorer is a good one to start with. Firefox is free, and lightweight. It is also faster than IE. Aside from that, it has a lot of features like tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, spell checking, and a download manager, among others. Its support for add-ons or plugins further extend its features. To use Firefox, all you have to do is:
- Visit Mozilla Firefox’s Website
- Click the download link and wait for it to complete
- Double-click the downloaded file and follow the instructions.
- At the end of the installation, it will ask you if you want to run Firefox already, run it.
- A small screen will ask you if you want to import your Internet Explorer bookmarks. If you have bookmarks there, then you can import them to Firefox for convenience.
- Firefox will launch after a few seconds and will warn you that it is not the default browser. Set it as default so that every time you click a link, Firefox will open, not Internet Explorer.
Make sure you set Firefox as the default browser. If you fail to do so, you can easily set it by going to the Tools menu, then select options. On the General tab, at the bottom part, click the check box that says “Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup.”
If you don’t fancy Firefox, there are still other browsers that you can use for free. Just like Firefox, it is very easy to install and use. Other alternatives are Opera, Safari for Windows, Flock, and Maxthon.
Click here for more information about how to get rid of Internet Explorer