Browser performance is becoming a bigger issue as browser updates and website advances require new versions – and even new computers. Not upgrading can also present security issues.
The problem we are seeing is a combination of clients with older computers using older versions of their favorite browsers trying to view websites that have advanced features the browsers and computers can’t support. The problem manifests itself when visitors can’t access a site or they can’t move around the site and use all of its features. They also start to see pop-up messages to upgrade their browsers.
We all tend to keep using our older systems and make a lot of allowances until something has to give. In this case, it’s your browser and/or computer. If your computer is not woefully out of date, you likely can upgrade your browser, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Most important, don’t click on an upgrade pop-up message without being absolutely sure it’s a legitimate message. We have not heard of scammers and hackers using this type of pop-up to get your money or your data or both, but if they’re doing it already…
You can always go to the browser publisher’s website (Microsoft, Firefox/Mozilla, Chrome/Google, Apple, etc.) and download a browser upgrade from there. We believe it’s a safer way to do it. If you happen to download more than one upgraded browser, make sure you designate only one as your preferred or default browser. That will ensure that links you click – such as the link from our email message to get to this article – open in the browser you prefer to use.
If your computer cannot support a browser and a website you use, you should consider upgrading your computer. It’s not really an arbitrary suggestion; it’s all about security.
From the website owner’s point of view, they constantly need to incorporate new software to cover multiple platforms, such as Windows or Apple computers and a host of mobile devices. At some point, they just cannot incorporate the software needed to function properly on older browsers and older computers. Some of the reasons may include the ability to perform e-commerce transactions efficiently and securely, the storage of financial and medical records, the protection of encrypted messages and vulnerability to a variety of attacks.
Those needs take into account legal and insurance issues that affect their decisions about the software and systems they use and support. (We will discuss those in a future issue of Technology Update).
For you, the computer user, you need to consider costs – and that goes beyond just the cost of a new computer.
- What is your cost if you cannot purchase business items online from your preferred vendors?
- What is your cost if you cannot purchase any items online – personally or for business – because your browser (and computer) may have security risks?
- What is your cost if you cannot bill customers and clients because of doubts about your security (see Protection in the Third-Party World)?
- What is your cost if your data is breached?
- What is your cost if you are found liable for others’ data breaches?
Browser requirements are likely to get tighter as we go deeper into our Internet-based world and as security becomes an even more important concern for website owners. We can help you get the most up-to-date browsers onto your computers, and we can help you plan an orderly upgrade of your personal and commercial systems to take advantage of any possible cost efficiencies. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to help keep your website browsing as safe and enjoyable as possible.