Benefits to Keeping Your Internet Browser Up to Date

Derek Popock, Product Solutions Consultant
June 25, 2019

More than 3 billion people use the Internet every day*, but some of them are not using the latest version of their preferred Internet browser. Keeping your browser up to date has several benefits.

Security

Out of date web browsers may have security exploits that were patched later on in more recent versions. Anti-Virus software is also highly recommended to keep your browsers current. Spyware, Adware and Keyloggers can be installed on your machine without your knowledge, putting you at risk to exposing personal data such as name, address, email, SSN, credit cards etc. Spyware enables a user to obtain information about your computer, which can lead to stealing of sensitive information and files. Adware has been activated when you start receiving unwanted advertisements, whether browsing the Internet or simply using your computer. Keylogging software records your keystrokes, allowing users to track and steal your usernames and passwords when logging into a website.

Signs that you may be at risk:

  • Your computer is slowing down, and simple tasks are now extremely slow.
  • Random and unwanted advertisements are popping up on your computer.
  • The home page on your browser has changed without your input.
  • The default search engine on your browser has changed without your input.
  • An email indicating that a password has changed for a website you access. (When this happens, use caution and call the service provider immediately to confirm this is true. Sometimes these emails are phishing attempts to trick you into giving up your real password.)

Compatibility, Speed and Access

If your browser is out of date, the website you are trying to access may format poorly. Website technology is forever evolving, and older browsers may have trouble interpreting these new coding techniques and fail to load the page properly. 

Speed is also a factor. With new coding techniques and languages, websites will load faster in browsers that are up-to-date and designed to process these enhancements. In some cases, you may be blocked from accessing the website until you install the latest browser version.

While most browsers render pages well, there are some differences between them.

Google Chrome
Positives – Loads pages quickly and has the most abundant choices of plugins and extensions available via the Chrome store.

Negatives – Typically takes up more resources from the computer, which may affect performance of the computer itself.

Mozilla Firefox
Positives – Loads pages quickly and is not as resource intensive as Chrome.

Negatives – Does not have as many plugin or extension options as the Chrome store.

Microsoft Edge
Positives – Loads pages well and is not as resource intensive as Chrome.

Negatives – Does not have much support for plugins and has trouble loading pages built on older web programming standards.  

How to Keep your Browser Updated

There are several browsers on the market, and they each have their own methods of staying up to date. The links below are resources to reference on how to enable auto-updates. Auto-updates work when you restart the browser, so if you are like me and always keep your browser open, you will see a red or green indicator (usually in the upper right hand corner) alerting you to install the updates.

Google Chrome – PC and Mac – https://t2m.io/uQmwh4zD

Mozilla Firefox – PC and Mac – https://t2m.io/wKQzrahj

Microsoft Edge – PC – https://t2m.io/bZTfuwUP

Safari – Mac – https://t2m.io/z2b4B0iV

*https://wearesocial.com/blog/2019/01/digital-2019-global-internet-use-accelerates

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