The latest Internet security snafu is affecting Internet Explorer users. Here’s what you need to know.
1. What’s All The Fuss About?
There’s a security flaw in Internet Explorer. The weakness, which has the catchy name “CVE-2014-1776,” affects Internet Explorer versions 6-11. People are also calling it the “zero day” bug.
2. What’s It Do?
In super-basic terms, the weakness allows malicious users to access computers and mess around with your files, accounts, and other things. They can do that if a couple of things happen.
One, a user must be using Windows as an administrator (which most people do). Two, the user must be using Internet Explorer and must allow access to their computer by clicking on a malicious website or downloading an e-mail attachment sent by someone who wants to gain access to the computer. Once that happens, someone can access the computer and do all kinds of stuff to it. You can read more about it here.
3. So They’re Fixing It, Right?
Eventually, yes. The catch is that Windows no longer supports Windows XP, which some people still use. That means that XP users might not get a fix at all. It’ll take a bit of time to get a patch out to everyone else. That’s a big deal; more than 50% of Internet users use IE.
4. How Do I Know If I’m Using Internet Explorer?
If you click on a blue “E” to access the Internet, you’re using Internet Explorer.
5. How Do I Keep My Computer Safe?
There are a few things you can do:
- Stop Using Internet Explorer
This is the big thing. Right now, the US Government is advising IE users to switch to another platform, at least for the time being. The vulnerability is exclusive to IE, so switching will take care of the problem. Want to switch? Check out Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox (we think they’re more fun than IE anyway).
- Boost Your IE Security
If you must use IE, Microsoft advises that you download and install their Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. It’s like armor for your browser. You can also go to Internet Options > Security in your browser and set the slider to “High.”
- Ask Your IT Guy
If you’re not computer-savvy or just want to be sure you don’t miss anything, double-check your security settings with you IT guy. He’ll probably be thrilled that you want to be safe. Make sure you use the term “CVE-2014-1776” to really impress him.
Qgiv Users: Please note that this isn’t a security flaw in the Qgiv system! Everyone who uses Internet Explorer is affected by this. We just want to be sure you’re up-to-date on things that can affect your nonprofit’s security. Your safety is important to us!