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Is Your Web Browser Keeping You Safe Online?

Arizona Federal Staff

Technology is always changing. Sometimes those changes cause software companies to stop making updates to their programs and apps. When programs are no longer being updated, they can become security risks, and users should stop using those programs and upgrade to a newer solution. Such is the case with most versions of the Internet Explorer web browser.

For the time being, Microsoft still provides security updates for Internet Explorer 11, the last version of the browser. However, the browser is no longer being updated to support new web standards. To have the best online experience, it’s important to always use a web browser that’s still being updated by its developers. If you’re still using Internet Explorer, tech experts recommend updating to a current browser such as Microsoft EdgeMozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Current web browsers offer automatic updates which provide necessary security patches to help keep your information safe. It’s important to have this feature turned on to ensure you’re always running the most current version of the browser.

While all browsers are unique in different ways, they do tend to offer similar types of security features. A Google search of “best browser” will give you hundreds of tech articles detailing the different options and features each browser has. If you’re using Internet Explorer and need a new browser, do a little research and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Along with keeping your browser up to date, here are three additional tips on how to keep yourself safe while surfing the web.

1. Beware of fake pop-ups. If you get a pop-up security warning that your computer is at risk and to “update” your computer or software, it’s probably malware. Don’t click on anything that tries to update your computer, unless you were looking for that update. 

If you click on these, spyware can be downloaded onto your computer allowing criminals access to your device and personal info.

2. Uninstall apps you don’t use. Conduct annual reviews of the software apps that are installed on your computer. If you find that you no longer use a particular program, uninstall it. By leaving unused programs on your computer, you open yourself up to risk. Since you are no longer using a particular program, you no longer know if it is up to date.

3. Don’t auto save your passwords. It’s not recommended to save passwords on a browser, even though your browser prompts you with this convenient option. It’s also not recommended to keep any passwords saved on a note or file on your computer. Security experts recommend using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. Password managers offer additional security measures that browsers don’t and give you the ability to log in with just one master password.

There are many other ways to stay safe while online. For more tips and tricks, check out Ways to Protect Your Information Online.