Internet Explorer: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

French and German government agencies have told people they should ditch Microsoft’s (MSFT) Internet Explorer browser, at least temporarily, because of a security hole that hackers are thought to have exploited on recent cyberattacks against Google and other companies. What should you do?

Switching to an alternative Web browser like Firefox or Google (GOOG) Chrome is one possibility. For now, security companies like McAfee (MFE) have only identified the latest security exploit as an Internet Explorer issue, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t find vulnerabilities in other browsers that were involved in the broad attack on Google and others.

Generally speaking, a browser switch is going to be a lot easier for an individual than it will be for corporate users, where IT policies often dictate which browser people use on their computers. Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant and security firm Sophos, said in a blog post Monday that companies may cause “more problems than it’s worth by summarily switching browsers” because of the potential for employee confusion and Web site compatibility problems caused by the new software.

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