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Internet Explorer might be exposing you to hackers – even if you don’t actually use it

A new Internet Explorer (IE) flaw has been revealed, and it lets hackers grab your data.

If you’re not one of the 10 percent of the browser market that uses IE, you might be unconcerned, except that this vulnerability doesn’t need you to use IE, only have it installed on your PC.

But diligence can protect you, to a degree.

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The vulnerability was found by a security researcher, John Page, who found a problem with the way the web browser handles the .MHT format. No one else uses the .MHT format anymore, so if you click on an .MHT file or attachment it’ll open Internet Explorer and that’s enough for the bad guys to slide in and steal your data.

So far, it seems that this works on Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2 systems. Currently, it seems like the only fix is to be super vigilant about what you click, or spelunking down into your windows settings to turn Internet Explorer 11 off. You can’t uninstall IE 11 if it’s been pre-installed on your machine, although it appears downgrading to IE 10 could work, but this is only possible if you initially decided to upgrade IE 10.

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Worryingly, Page claims he told Microsoft about the flaw in March and Microsoft said they would “consider” rolling out a fix in a future update for the vulnerability. Considering this is a security flaw with a pre-installed part of Windows, it’d be good to see some movement from the software giant.

For now, best bet is to be careful what you click on, and hope a Windows fix comes down the pipe soon.

Are you one of the small percent of browser uses that have pledged allegiance to Internet Explorer? Are you going to be clicking more carefully now? Let us know on Twitter at @TrustedReviews

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