Getting rid of IE6 – civil servants you can ignore this!

This notice from PayPal caught my eye today in relation to safe web browsers. Getting on my hobby horse again (see previous post on this topic), I wonder when the UK public sector are going to wake up to the fact that the vast majority of government staff (central and local) have no other choice but to use Internet Explorer 6. IE6 is no longer supported by Microsoft, does not benefit from the latest security software patches, is not supported by a growing number of social media websites (e.g. YouTube, Flickr), does not comply with W3C standards, and is the antithesis of a web productivity tool. I had hoped that Socitm might take up the campaign to get IE6 replaced – or to at least to support the concept of staff having an alternative to IE6 in the workplace – but they remain strangely silent on this issue, despite the fact that this could be one of the most significant staff productivity improvements available to the sector -to say nothing of the improved security.

So, sorry civil servants, you can ignore the remainder of this post since it is clearly of no relevance to you. Best just to think of ‘phishing’ as something that people do with a rod and line!

If you are not using the latest versions of internet browser, you’re putting yourself at risk. PayPal and the next-generation of web browsers, support anti-phishing technologies. These safer web browsers make it easier to spot web forgery (commonly called “phishing”) and alert or block you from entering personal information that may lead to identify theft.

Download Firefox 3, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 8

Firefox, Google Chrome and the latest versions of Internet Explorer have built-in features that alert you when you’re on a fraudulent site. This means if you accidently click on a fraudulent email, you’ll be alerted and warned before the page opens.

Check that you’re using the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer by clicking the browser’s ‘Help’ button and selecting ‘About’. If you’re ready for an upgrade, click on the links below to download and install.

Download Chrome
Download Firefox

Download Internet Explorer


  1. Ian Cuddy said:

    All together now…

    “There is no evidence that moving from the latest fully patched versions of Internet Explorer to other browsers will make users more secure. Regular software patching and updating will help defend against the latest threats.”

    April 29, 2010
  2. Steve Dale said:

    Ian – absolutely agree. Maybe you’d care to explain where the patches and updates come from for a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft?

    April 30, 2010
  3. Ian said:

    I wonder if the much-vaunted G-Cloud strategy will help to push things forward soon Steve? Given there’s so much riding on the G-Cloud (if you’ll excuse my mixed metaphors) government will be stuck if cloud apps don’t work on IE6.

    April 30, 2010
  4. Steve Dale said:

    Ian – I’d like to think so. I don’t know if the G-cloud includes access to things like Google Apps, but that’s another set of products not supported by IE6. I suspect that any upgrade from IE6 will be tied to the Sharepoint upgrade cycle. Whatever happens, you can be sure it will be mind-numbingly slow!

    May 1, 2010
  5. Gary C said:

    With IE9 supporting HTML5 on the way, Microsoft may be fighting to get back their loss of browser market share
    Either way, UK gov users will be even further left behind and disconnected.

    May 6, 2010
  6. Steve Dale said:

    Thanks Gary for the link. Not only left further behind, but still without any other choice of browsers – e.g. Firefox or Chrome. Talk about a monopoly – Microsoft must love the public sector!

    May 6, 2010

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