Windows 8 was developed and released to meet two goals. The first is to make the Windows operating system a legitimate contender on mobile devices. The second is to create a more consistent user interface and experience across all Windows devices. There have been a variety of improvements which will enhance the overall level of security provided to users; however there are still serious internet security risks which must be taken into consideration.
Internet Explorer 10 and the Metro Interface
A significant Internet security risk is tied to how Internet Explorer 10 appears through the Metro interface. Internet Explorer is run in immersion mode. The benefit of this is it provides full use of the screen space. Unfortunately, the URL bar becomes invisible. The only way to see the actual URL is when users purposefully expose the address bar. This is a serious Internet security risk because it makes it easier for phishing sites to disguise themselves. The easiest way to avoid phishing scams is by looking at the URL in the address bar to ensure the user is visiting a legitimate website. Now that the address bar is invisible, users must consciously double check the URL before entering sensitive personal information. This is particularly true when visiting online banking sites or clicking on URLs within e-mails.
Internet Explorer 10 Supports a Variety of New Features
No Official Way to Disable the Metro Interface
Another Internet security risk for Windows 8 users has already established itself across other mobile devices and platforms. Since there is no way to officially disable the Metro interface, users will manually need to alter the operating system in order to use a more traditional interface. This process is similar to jail breaking mobile devices. While this can provide enhanced functionality, it also creates serious Internet security risks because applications gain the ability to access the core of the operating system. While additional options may be available in future, this Internet security threat has already been realized on other operating systems and platforms which increases the likelihood it will also affect the Windows 8 system.
Windows 8 is considered to be a breakthrough for Microsoft’s operating system, however only time will tell what additional Internet security risks it may present. Similar to previous operating systems additional Internet security vulnerabilities will be discovered over time. To minimize these Internet security threats, it is essential for users to apply software updates or connect with a VPN as soon as they are made available.