Internet Explorer is one of the most popular web browsers. Yesterday Microsoft, the maker of Internet Explorer announced that they had discovered a major flaw in the security of this program that is already being exploited by hackers. Hackers are already taking advantage of this flaw to take over computers using Internet Explorer, steal information from their victims and take total control of the infected computer. The danger of this flaw cannot be overstated. Microsoft is working on a security patch for this problem, but does not have one presently. This problem is made worse for those people still using Windows XP because since April 8th, Microsoft is no longer providing updated security patches for that operating system so when a security patch is developed, it will not be effective for computers still using Windows XP.
Those of you still using Windows XP should update your operating system as soon as possible. Everyone else should use other browsers such as Firefox until a security patch is provided by Microsoft. You also may wish to use the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) to take protective steps although this will not protect you fully. You also should consider disabling your Adobe Flash plugin if you have one because this is used by hackers in their attacks. You also should remember that for a hacker to install the malware on your computer or other electronic device to exploit this vulnerability, you need to have clicked on a tainted link or downloaded a tainted attachment. Therefore, as always you should avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate.
Here is the link to the announcement of the Department of Homeland Security regarding this matter, which also contains a link to the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2014/04/28/Microsoft-Internet-Explorer-Use-After-Free-Vulnerability-Being