Danger to my PC by leaving IE open?

So, last night I got caught up in a show, and forgot to close out all my IE windows. When I awoke this morning, I noticed that I had a page of the Dope up and open.

A co-worker of mine claims that this leaves my PC open to attack of some sort or another.

I have AVG up, as well as Windows Firewall and Windows Defender (beta).

The only other thing that may connect me to others is WinMX.

Does having an open IE window, out on the “public internet” make my PC any more open to attack? My co-worker is usually pretty knowledgable, but this one flies in the face of everything I’ve ever heard.

Thanks, Dopes!

I don’t see how. The security issue with MSIE is that certain pages can use scripts to download spyware or viruses. But you need to visit those pages to get them. If you’re staying on a page, you’re not getting infected through MSIE (unless it gave you the virus/spyware when you first went there, of course).

Security attacks will occur whether you have MSIE up or not, and any holes are there no matter whether MSIE is active.

I agree with *RealityChuck. IE does not listen for any incoming traffic unless it is waiting for a response from a web server that it just sent a message to. So no outside party can exploit IE by trying to contact it somehow.

The only other thing that could happen is if it is running a malicious applet but I am not familiar with a case where that’s actually happened.

Well, yes, but no more than when you were sitting at the PC reading that page.

In fact, it’s probably less vulnerable to attack, since there is no human there to be fooled into opening an attachment or clicking on a phishing site. The human at the keyboard is the component most open to attack!

Anytime your PC is online, it’s more vulnerable than if you disconnected from the Internet. Having firewalls, etc. will help to block malicious stuff. Having a human at the keyboard will NOT provide significant additional help in blocking things – it may actually do harm, if the human is gullible.

The very simple answer to your question is that IE is not even connected to the internet in that state! It only connects for a few seconds to download the page and then immediately disconnects.

Also, you hear about these “hackers” and stuff “breaking in”, but in reality, most problems arise because uers themselves install “bad” programs or plugins from websites (which often try to look like genuinely good ones and fool many users). Leaving your computer alone is the best thing you could do to it (except with a few rare exploits that really did happen automatically… I can think of three in the last 3-4 years).

99% of the time, when the IE security bar (or whatever it was called) pops up and asks you to install some program, it’s one of those “bad” programs. And of course there are many websites that detect that it was not installed and display a nice “See, you have to click on this bar and install that program” picture… which users seem to follow, of course. After all, the computer is smart, no?..

I feel very much relieved that most of my family has by this time learned what these things really are. Sigh. Annoying thingies. Bad thingies. Evil thingies. :mad: