Updating Your Browser - Owl Practice Blog
Updating Your Browser

Updating Your Browser

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What web browser do you use on a daily basis?

Your choice of web browser is more important than you may think. Back in the 90s, you really only had a choice between two browsers: Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. In today’s software ecosystem, there are dozens of different options of browsers, some better than others. But did you know that many of the browsers still regularly used today are no longer supported by their developers, meaning that significant security holes and other issues will be left unpatched? Yikes!

You need to make sure that your choice of browser is, a) still supported, and b) updated regularly. If you’re still using an old, unsupported browser, you may be leaving yourself open to many different security threats, as well as losing out on some modern features that can make web browsing a much better experience!

Security

Your web browser is not only your portal for surfing the internet, but it’s also your first level of security. Without an up-to-date browser, you’re likely to be vulnerable to viruses, malware, and many other cyber threats. When using a service such as Owl Practice, one where your clients’ personal information is stored online, it’s imperative that you use an updated, modern browser without security vulnerabilities. Let’s put it this way: Internet Explorer just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Recently, two colossal security vulnerabilities called Meltdown and Spectre were discovered in every computer chip that was developed in the last 20 years. That’s really scary! So far, over 130 different varieties of malware have been found based around these issues. Earlier this year, companies raced to put out patches to help fix these vulnerabilities, and that included most of the major browser developers. Chances are that your computer has already been updated but be sure to check your browsers to make sure they’re past these versions: Firefox 57.0.4, Microsoft Edge Jan 5th update, Safari 11.0.2, and Chrome 67.

Website Compatibility

As websites are being updated continuously with the latest levels of internet security and new features, there’s a chance that older, no longer supported browsers may stop being compatible. For example, Owl has recently updated our website, ensuring that all of our customers will be safe while using our secure services. Unfortunately, this means that some older web browsers will be unable to view our site. Many other companies that handle sensitive data, like banking or taxes, also likely have websites that use current web standards. It’s vital that you use an up-to-date browser to make sure that you’ll be getting full-functionality from these sites, or indeed, any functionality at all.

Features and Performance

Technology is always on the move but, unfortunately, some browsers are stuck in the past. If you want the latest features, faster loading websites, and better reliability, you need to be using the newest version of your web browser. Browsers today tend to use less code, leading to better response times on low bandwidth devices or in poor network conditions.

Recommended Browsers & How to Update Your Browser

Microsoft Internet Explorer (Not Recommended)

If you use Internet Explorer as your browser, we strongly suggest that you stop. Microsoft stopped supporting Internet Explorer back in 2016, meaning that it’s no longer updated with security patches and new features. Internet Explorer is still automatically installed in Windows 10, but it should be for legacy use only. There’s no way to update it, and it may be unsafe to use. Besides, it’s been replaced by…

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is Windows 10’s new built-in browser, replacing the unsafe and out-of-date Internet Explorer. Edge is designed to work well with both desktops and tablet computers. Windows 10 pushes Edge at every opportunity, asking you if you’d like to “give it a try,” whenever you open a different browser. If you wish, you can shut these messages down in your settings, but as we said, we do recommend that you make the switch.
If you’re already using Edge, then you’ll have no issues with updating it as Windows Updates will automatically download and install new versions whenever they’re released.

Firefox

Firefox came out of nowhere in the early 2000s and soon became one of the most popular web browsers ever used. It’s considered to be the spiritual successor to the popular 90s web browser Netscape Navigator. It’s a speedy browser that’s available on most platforms, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Firefox should automatically check for updates every time you open it and automatically install them when you close. It’s important to check to make sure this option hasn’t accidentally be turned off. If you want to make sure everything is working correctly, open the menu at the top right in Windows or click on “Firefox” in the top left in macOS, then click on “About Firefox.” You should be able to see your current version and if it needs to be updated.

Chrome

Considered by many to be the current king of web browsers, Chrome is owned and developed by Google. Chrome is the default browser on Android devices, such as phones, or Chromebooks. It’s also available on most major platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux. Like many other modern browsers, it should automatically update every time you open it. If you want to check to make sure you have the current version, click on the menu in the top right in Windows or Chrome in the top left in macOS and then click on “About Chrome.”

Safari

Safari is Apple’s built-in web browser included with every version of macOS and iOS. It has similar functionality to other modern browsers and can be a great default option if you use a Mac. Like Microsoft Edge, Safari is built into the OS, so it’s automatically updated. You don’t have to do a thing.

The bottom line is that, if you want to ensure that you’ll have a safe internet experience with the knowledge that all of your clients’ personal data will be fully protected, you’re going to have to update and use a modern, supported web browser. If you do, you’re likely to have no problems at all accessing Owl Practice’s services!

If you’d like to check out some of those services, please sign up for a free demo! If you have any questions or comments about our services, we invite you to contact us at support@owlpractice.ca.

As always,

Practice Wisely

 

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