Millions of Internet Explorer users have just five weeks to upgrade to a newer browser before security patches dry up.
Microsoft blasted a reminder to users earlier this week that after January 12 there will be no more patches to protect against drive-by downloads and other browser vulnerabilities.
That doesn’t bode well for the millions affected, considering almost every month Internet Explorer remains one of the most likely targets of hackers and attackers.
As many as 124 million users are running Internet Explorer 10 and earlier, and must update to a newer browser, according to the US Digital Analytics program.
Most of the users are still running Internet Explorer 9, the statistics show, indicating a good portion of users still running Windows 7.
Microsoft said in mid-2014 that Internet Explorer 11 would bethe last version of the aging browser brand, which first debuted two decades ago in 1995. The browser has long been known for its security flaws and issues, which have bogged both Microsoft and its users down for years.
The rise of alternative browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, has seen Microsoft’s dominant marketplace position vastly diminished over the past half-decade.
Enough was enough, and Microsoft began pushing its users to Microsoft Edge browser, an exclusive for Windows 10. Microsoft has said the browser is safer as it prevents adware and toolbars from hijacking dynamic link libraries.
Indeed, over the past few months since Windows 10’s release, most critical flaws affecting Windows have affected Internet Explorer far more than Edge — though, it hasn’t scored a perfect flaw–free record yet.
Keeping apps and software up-to-date is one of the best ways to keep a system safe from security threats, according to a Google security research paper.