Poll reveals that people believe getting off Internet Explorer is the best tactic, as claims made that general public are not aware of the risks

Over half of the respondents in an online poll believe that web users should permanently stop using Internet Explorer.

In a poll hosted by Sophos, 52 per cent believed that permanently stopping using Internet Explorer was the best method of protection. However 20 per cent disagreed, as they said that there was no benefit to switching, as all browsers have vulnerabilities.

Fifteen per cent disagreed, saying that security software and sensible precautions can protect you, while 14 per cent said that temporarily switching browsers is a good idea.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “Remember - if your IT department doesn't already formally support an alternative browser, and if your users aren't already familiar with the other browser, you may be causing more problems than it's worth by summarily switching browsers.

“You may also have web-based applications that don't work well, or even at all, unless they are accessed with Internet Explorer. That's not going to be good for productivity. And finally, what if your replacement browser itself turns out to contain a vulnerability? Are you going to switch again?

“My advice is to only switch from Internet Explorer if you really know what you are doing with the browser you're swapping to. Otherwise it might be a case of better the devil you know.”

Security blogger Brian Krebs recently wrote in a blog post about the general sense of unknown regarding switching to another browser and the vulnerability. He said he caught a glimpse of a computer screen at a local bank, with the manager using IE6.

When Krebs asked if he was still using IE6, the manager said: “Yeah, we're supposed to get new computers soon, but I dunno, that's been a long time coming.”

In a recent CNBC News interview, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer was quoted as saying: “Cyber attacks and occasional vulnerabilities are a way of life. If the issue is with us, we'll work through it with all of the important parties. We have a whole team of people that responds very real time to any report that it may have something to do with our software, which we don't know yet.”

Sign up to our newsletters