The Internet is a terrifying place, it really is, but we do rely on certain bits of software to keep us safe like virus killers, spam filters, pop up-blockers etc. However the one bit of software we have to trust is our web browser as it's the most used application, heck, it's essential.

Now, we've all known for some time that Internet Explorer can be a bit buggy and many in the ‘geek' world will spend a lot of time convincing us that we shouldn't use it due to security holes, but Microsoft are a big company and you expect that they'll do their best to keep us safe.

Ooops.

It appears that Internet Explorer has a *massive* hole in it that is currently being exploited by ‘The Bad Guys on the Net'. The security flaw could result in people taking over your computer and stealing passwords, credit card details and the like. It's scary stuff.

Microsoft have now issues a patch, but with millions of people never updating their PC, many will remain vulnerable for some time to come.

You can read about it here: BBC News

And the solution? Switch to another browser – but which one?

Here's a roundup of our favourites and where to get them from:

Firefox (get it from here: http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/)

This is the grandaddy of the Internet Explorer competitors and it's an open source effort. Essentially, ‘The Mozilla Foundation' owns the browser, but contributions are made to both its code and the costs of development.

It's also one of the safest browsers for this very reason – the code is available so everyone can see if there are any errors.

Google Chrome (get it from here: http://www.google.com/chrome)

The newest of all the browsers from the big ‘G', Google Chrome has made a name for itself for being incredibly fast. It was built from the ground up with speed in mind and if you are user of web applications, it works an absolute treat.

So far there haven't been any major security risks, however it has a small user base – the bad guys haven't got round to it yet!

Apple Safari (get it from here: http://www.apple.com/safari/)

Safari has been around for years and originally it was just a Mac application. It's been available for the PC for a while now and whilst it has been one of my favourites for a while due to its speed and security, the odd design of the interface puts a lot of people off. It attempts to be simple without quite getting it right.

If you're used to the Mac though, it's a faithful replica.

So there you go. If you're looking for an Internet Explorer replacement, there are plenty.