Browser Problems

This is not a horticulture-related post, but rather a warning about browser vulnerability. You have probably seen lots of news about the attacks suffered by Google in China. What you may not realize is that the attacks exploited a set of vulnerabilities in the most commonly used web browser, Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Computer experts have long warned about the need to keep software up-to-date, and this latest set of attacks has actually led several governments (France, Germany, Australia, to name a few) to warn their citizens to stop using Microsoft's Internet Explorer.


I looked at the statistics gathered on our website so far this month about the kind of browsers used by our guests and found this:

  • MSIE version 8.0 - 22.7%
  • MSIE version 7.0 - 28.3%
  • MSIE version 6.0 - 15.0%
  • Firefox (all versions) - 17.5%
  • Apple Safari (all versions) - 12.2%
  • Other - 5%


What should you do? Seriously consider making Firefox or Safari your default browser. Both of them work on both PC's and Mac's. You can download Firefox for free at its website: Safari is available (also for free) at If you already use one of these, congratulations, but make sure you have the latest version.


If you really want to stay with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, then by all means get version 8, which is the latest version. Not only is it way more secure than earlier versions, but it renders web pages far better as well. You may download it here:


The bottom line is that you have to practice safe computing by keeping your computer up to date and using only the latest browsers.