The web browser is probably the most important and most used applications on your desktop PC, tablet or smartphone, but why should you keep it updated if it serves it’s purpose of browsing the Internet? Would you know what version you’re using and any possible security risks associated with it? What about compatibility issues with your favourite website – are you achieving the optimum experience possible?
There are currently a number of popular web browsers that let users access and surf the Internet. These include Microsoft Internet Explorer (introduced way back in 1995), Apple Safari (introduced in 2003), Mozilla Firefox (2004), and the most recent big player Google Chrome (2008). For a long time, Internet Explorer was the application most widely used for the web but it’s recently been replaced by ‘Project Spartan’ – Microsoft’s new solution which provides distraction-free reading, faster searching abilities, and easier social sharing.
If you’re using a browser that hasn’t been updated for a while, it could mean that advancing technologies in the website world may have passed you by, resulting in a sub-standard experience as a user. As developers, we prefer to cut back of features that offer support for legacy browsers, allowing us to concentrate on modern standardised formats. This could also mean you’re unaware of any new technology a website has to offer. Older web browsers also have problems with graphic display capabilities, again impacting your online experience.
If your software doesn’t support HTML5 and CSS3 then this could be a major problem. Sites use a combination of innovative images, scripts, style sheets and potentially other resources that improve the look and functionality of your visit. Each of these elements provide a loading time and older browsers begin to struggle on speed, moving everything to a slow crawl. It could result in images falling out of place, text dropping out, or content simply failing to load. In a worse case scenario you’ll end up crashing your app or even your PC.
No matter what browser you decide to use, the importance is keeping it updated to the latest secured version. The number of cyber-attacks and hacking scandals are always making headlines, even as I’m writing this blog article another high profile company have been targeted by digital pirates exploited weaknesses within it’s I.T. systems. Everything from intrusion program’s to spyware attacks mean that every time we’re on the Internet there’s always a potential threat from hackers.
Most web browsers offer a level of security from their initial installation of your computer, which provides users enough protection from the majority of threats. Unfortunately, the developers who build these malicious program’s are all too aware of this and update their software accordingly, meaning that a potential attack is never far away. A regular browser check will guarantee to offer you comprehensive up-to-date protection using any known information from the online security world.
If you decide to use Chrome or Firefox as your browser of choice, you won’t have to worry about updating to the latest version as it will update automatically as soon as it gets released. Other browsers may prompt you to update and ask you if you’d like to install their latest software version. Software choice is a personal preference, so I’m not debating as to whether which one is better. The big developers out there such as Apple and Microsoft encourage you to use their applications so it’s always in their best interest to implement any revisions to their program’s. It’s about the best user experience possible, making the internet a joy to view.
If you’re unsure as to whether or not your browser is up-to-date check out Browse Happy or Outdated Browser – these sites will decide for you. Security threats alone should be the reason to upgrade…so what are you waiting for?