IE Blocked Millions of Threats During the Holidays
Article by George Norman
On 19 Jan 2012
During the winter holidays, many of us took a well deserved vacation, relaxed and got to meet family members we hadn’t seen in a long time. The bad guys on the other hand, did not go on vacation; they never take a break and their idea of a Christmas present is to infect your computer. Proof of this is the fact that Internet Explorer’s SmartScreen filter blocked millions of threats during the winter holiday.

The IE Security team announced earlier this week that on average and on a daily basis, about 2 million malware downloads were blocked by IE’s SmartScreen filter from mid-December until New Year’s. Christmas Day, the 25th of December, was the day when the largest number of malware downloads was blocked. “December 25 saw a 30% spike in malware blocks— successfully preventing users from being tricked into giving their PCs an unwanted present,” explained Eric Lawrence, IE Security.


A feature of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser, the SmartScreen filter can detect phishing sites and can protect you from downloading or installing malicious software. It analyzes the websites you visit and prompts you about suspicious behavior, it checks the websites you visit against a dynamic list of reported phishing sites and malicious software sites and blocks the sites if they are dangerous, and it checks files that you download from the web against a list of reported malicious software sites and programs known to be unsafe, blocking unsafe downloads.

To enjoy the protection the SmartScreen filter has to offer, you must run Internet Explorer 8(IE8) or Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) on your Windows-powered computer. If you have to choose, it would be better to use IE9 as it is the latest version of Microsoft’s browser. But if you’re on the now quite outdated Windows XP, you can’t install IE9 and that’s because the browser doesn’t support XP – it only supports Vista and Windows 7.

Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE9, SmartScreen filter
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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