8th January 2016
Do you know what browser you’re using? If you’re not the most tech-savvy among us, you’d be forgiven for not even knowing what a browser is, but some changes are happening to the internet this year that it’s important for you understand.
If you do know what browser you’re using, good for you smarty-pants! Feel free to skip ahead – the rest of us will join you in a minute.
Ok, so firstly, what is a browser?
No doubt one or more of the above logos look familiar to you. Well, those my friend, are browsers. You’re most likely using one of right now! A browser is the thing you use to view websites. There are a few different ones but, they generally do the same stuff.
There’s a good chance you’re using Internet Explorer if you have a Windows PC or Safari if you have an Apple Mac because these browsers come already installed on your computer.
However, you can download and use other browsers, the most popular browser at the moment is actually made by Google and it’s called Google Chrome.
If you’re happy with the browser you’re using, great! But it’s still nice to know you have options. Why not download a few and see which you like the best? They’re all free. Our favourite is Google Chrome and that’s always the one we’d recommend if someone was looking to switch, but it’s really just personal preference.
Here’s a list of links to download the above browsers, I’ve listed them in order or popularity:
Internet Explorer: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/internet-explorer/download-ie (Only use on Windows PCs)
Safari: https://support.apple.com/en_GB/downloads/safari (Only use on Apple Macs)
If you’ve bought a Windows computer quite recently it may have come with the Windows 10 operating system, if this is the case you’ll most likely have a browser called Microsoft Edge instead of Internet Explorer.
Hopefully you now know what browser you’re using, so let’s move on!
Do you know what version of your browser you’re using?
You know how we’re always making and releasing updates to Staff Squared? Well the same can be said for your browser. When updates are made to your browser a new version gets released, but unlike Staff Squared, you might not automatically see the new version.
Sometimes you have to ask your browser to go and get the updates, it’s a very easy process, but one we often ignore because we either don’t think it’s necessary, don’t know about it, don’t understand it, or maybe we’re just a little scared of the internet and computers and want to get in and out as quickly as possible!
Either way, the new changes that are coming to the internet this year are going to mean that some older versions of browsers won’t do so well. So it’s important we all keep our browsers fairly up to date. You don’t have to check for updates every day, but it’s a good idea to update your browser at least once or twice a year.
How do you find out what browser version you have?
This will be slightly different in every browser, but what you’re looking for is an “About” option. Generally this can be found in a drop down menu at either the top left or top right corner of your browser. (In some browsers it might be tucked away under “Help”.)
Here’s an example in Internet Explorer, click the cog in the top right and then select “About Internet Explorer”.
You’ll also notice that I’ve ticked the box that says “Install new versions automatically”, this means that my browser will always get the most recent updates without me having to do a thing.
If you don’t have the latest version it will usually tell you so and give you an option to upgrade then and there.
Ok, I know what browser I’m using, now what?
So now we all know what browser we’re using, let’s discuss these upcoming changes of which there are two…
Firstly, Microsoft have announced that they’re going to stop support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 from Tuesday 12th January 2016. If you are using Internet Explorer 10 or below, you don’t have to upgrade, but it’s strongly advised that you do. These browsers will no longer receive security fixes – which could mean bad times for you.
Secondly, if you’re super up to date on your internet security news, you may have heard that TLS 1.0 can no longer be used after 30th June 2016. If you don’t know your TLS from your elbow, don’t worry, just know that this is good news for you! This change just means that internet security levels are rising, so come July, if your browser is not secure enough you simply won’t be able to access secure websites like your internet banking or Staff Squared.
So which browsers are deemed secure enough? To be honest, it’s hard to say because your operating system can also play a part in how secure your browser is, luckily, we take internet security very seriously here at Staff Squared, so we’re ahead of the game and have already made the necessary changes to our servers to make sure all of our data is extremely secure.
This means that if you don’t have any problems accessing your Staff Squared account now, then your browser is already ready for the changes that will start being enforced on the 30th June. If however, you can’t access your Staff Squared account, you will need to upgrade your browser.
If you don’t have a Staff Squared account, you can sign up for a free trial here.
Another reasons to keep your browser up to date
If you’re using an old browser you’ve probably come across numerous cases of things looking a bit rubbish and stuff just not working. Things overlap, forms don’t submit, etc… it’s infuriating and a lot of the time it’s because the developers of the website have stopped supporting that version of your browser.
You see, every browser and sometimes even different versions of the same browser, handle things differently behind the scenes, what looks ok in one, might not look so good in another.
Web developers work hard to make sure their websites look great in every browser but the sheer volume of browser versions means it would be almost impossible to test their work in every browser/version combo so they have to draw a line somewhere.
In light of Microsoft’s announcement we have decided that Staff Squared will also be stopping support for Internet Explorer 10 and below. So please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 for the best Staff Squared experience.
In summary, it’s always been recommend that you keep your browser up to date, but this year you may have no other choice if you want to be able to access secure websites.
So there we have it, now you have absolutely no reason not to be using the shiniest version of your browser! Happy surfing in style Staff Squardians!