Microsoft: One Out of 14 Net Downloads Could Be Bad For You

The Net is just rife with hackers and malcontents just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting Web surfers, right? So, of course, the brainiacs at Microsoft are saying its Internet Explorer 9 web browser can be your online guardian against the rising threat.

Programmers for the Redmond software giant say that in developing the security tools for IE 9, they’ve come to the conclusion that “1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware.”

Naturally, its IE 9 and built-in “SmartScreen Application Reputation” tool, is a good defensive tool. It will supposedly determine if a piece of Web software is bad for you by checking into the program’s online credentials. A program from a well-known software maker with a pedigree of trust for software with no ill effects would get a green light to download. But warning flags will be raised should an IE 9 user try to download a new program that doesn’t yet have a stellar rep.

Microsoft’s dire warning of Net dangers is a good reminder to all web wanderers. Whether you’re using IE 9 or other competitive browsing software: Just don’t blindly trust that links–especially to absurdities such as pictures of Osama’s death–are really going to deliver what you expect them to.

For more tips, see Consumer Reports Guide to Online Security.

SmartScreen® Application Reputation in IE9 [Microsoft]

Microsoft: One Out of 14 Downloads Is Malware [PCMag.com]

One-In-14 Downloads Is Malware [Wall St. Journal]