Install Firefox 1.5 and stop using Internet Explorer.I'm a realist. I know that the most effective way to achieve Internet safety is to stop using Windows entirely, yet I also know that most Windows users don't understand what that means. Most Windows users don't have a clue; they're totally unaware of their choices. If you're offended by this, you can appreciate the irony, because you're NOT a typical Windows user. (An easy way to explain this: Each time you meet someone who is surprised that there is such a thing as an alternative to Internet Explorer, you've met someone who's clueless about operating systems in general.) Windows users who are truly worried about Internet safety should switch to Apple's Mac OS X. It's that simple. But for Windows users who are unable or unwilling to stop using Windows, the next best thing is to install and use Firefox. Now! Not at some point down the road. Now. I can't count the number of Windows users who have told me they're going to switch to Firefox as soon as they get other stuff done. Right! Flaws in current versions of Internet Explorer -- IE 5 and IE 6 (and all their sub-versions, written the geek way as IE 5.x and IE 6.x) -- are inexcusably dangerous. Microsoft doesn't even know about many of them (or perhaps most of them) because more are discovered month by month, and sometimes week by week. We cannot say with certainty how many bugs and flaws are in Internet Explorer; as long as the software is still being used and as long as more problems are still being found, the total is open-ended.
Try to understand this: If you use Internet Explorer, no one can tell you how many problems it has. You're walking out to the curb, closing your eyes and strolling across the busy highway. No one can tell you how many cars are coming, and which of them are big semis unable to stop quickly or which of them are being driven by clueless drivers who are too busy dialing their cellphones to look down the road to see if an equally clueless blindfolded pedestrian is walking out into the road. You know what I mean.
Any program that does so much of its work across the Internet has the potential for bugs and flaws, especially when it comes from Microsoft, which routinely can't figure out how to create bug-free software and can't find the bugs that slip through once its software is in your hands.
If you think I'm being hard on Microsoft, think again; I'm being kind. I'm not even blaming Microsoft for its bugs and flaws. I'm just being honest. The real blame lies with you and your sister-in-law, your friends and coworkers, if you accept poorly designed software without a peep of complaint.
Installing and using Firefox immediately eliminates Internet Explorer from the equation. Don't try to uninstall IE; just leave it alone. If you absolutely must use IE for some sites (for banking sites created by clueless Windows users, for example), you'll have it handy.
Switch to Firefox. Do it now. See ya !