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2010/02/03 - Google Kills Internet Explorer and Gets Serious About Security

posted Feb 2, 2010, 9:55 PM by Rick Anderson
Call it the fallout of the China attack part 1 - shortly after China attacked Google's accounts through an IE6 vulnerability (the next day), Google announced the setting of secure https access as the default.  It's been an option since mid 2008, but now it's the default for Google Gmail accounts and Google Apps accounts.  As an additional move, https site security (what used to be a Google Apps Premier benefit) has now been quietly added to all versions of Google Apps.

If you're a Google Apps administrator, run to your machine and turn on this level of security...

* open your mail - from there click on Manage this domain (upper right corner)
* select the Domain settings tab and now you're in the General sub-tab
* scroll down to SSL and check the box Enable SSL

SSL is Secure Socket Layer and is what causes the browser to go from http:// to https:// and turn on the lock function (that padlock icon).  Now, all of your Google Apps products - including mail, calendar, documents, and sites will be accessed using a secure communication channel.

Call it the fallout of the China attack part 2 - yesterday Google announced through an "important notice" e-mailed to all Gmail and Apps users the phasing out support of Internet Explorer 6 as well as other older browsers.  Starting March 1st, Mail and Sites will no longer function properly in IE6.  Later in the year the remainder of the Apps suite will no longer function on older browsers.  While Google cites advances in browser technology, the reality is that Google wouldn't have been hacked if they weren't using IE6.

The tech industry has been trying to kill off IE6 - websites such as http://ie6update.com/ as well as a consortium of web companies have been trying to kill IE for months.  Now with a heavy hitter like Google, it might actually happen.

Zingodia Systems recommends using Google's Chrome browser as a primary browser along with IE8 for compatibility with sites utilizing active-x.
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