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Dain Saxon (Digital Producer) – March 29, 2010
|Why you should care about what browser you're using. Or, Death to IE6!|
Please let me precursor this article with the disclaimer that this is not a rant about one web browser being better than another. It is the disclaimer that one web browser is worse than every other - and you are probably using it - and it is costing your company money. You can find out which browser you are using by reading on to the steps below.|
So let's begin.
The internet browser is the application you use to access the internet. It's the window that gives you access to hotmail, facebook and pictures of cute cats with funny captions.
This browser also gives you access to your company website, information and web-based applications - of which there are an increasing number.
By default for many people, this browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you are in a corporate environment and your computer uses the Windows operating system (read: your computer isn't shiny and white and doesn't have a logo of an apple on it) then you will have this browser on your computer.
Moreover, if you work within a fairly large corporate environment the version of this browser may very well be Internet Explorer version 6. Version 6 is Microsofts most popular and most flawed browser.
To understand version numbers and why they are important it is perhaps easiest to compare them to the year models of cars.
The original Volkswagen Beetle was a very popular car, even a Hollywood legend, but that doesn't suggest that the newer model isn't faster, safer, prettier and just better. Not by a long shot.
If you were driving through a dangerous neighbourhood at night and it's raining, would you want to be in an old Herbie (likely to get a flat tire or break down at the wrong time), or the new bug (so you can scream out of there using your GPS and early warning system)?
That's what Internet Explorer version 6 is. An old bug. Popular, yes. Useful, mostly. Loveable, not so much. Unbreakable? Reliable? Safe? Not even close.
Metaphors aside, internet security is a big problem. Yours truly has even been affected by the odd virus, spyware and even a credit card skimming operation which saw $500 withdrawn from my bank account at a McDonalds in Toronto, Canada.
Malicious technology is evolving. Hackers try ever smarter ways to collect your personal and private information. As a result, the technology we use has also evolved to outsmart those trying to break it. But many users don't take enough of an interest in online security.
These users are making the bad guys' jobs easier.
This is an issue because there are some very simple steps to take, which will ensure a safer online experience.
Read on to find out what they are...