The tech giant is pulling the plug on tech support and security updates for older versions of its Web browser. Here's what you need to know.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans still using an old version of the Internet Explorer Web browser, now is the time to either upgrade your browser to the latest Internet Explorer 11 or switch to a completely new browser.
Here’s why: Microsoft announced that it’s ending support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 for most users on Jan. 12. On that day, the tech giant plans to issue a new “End of Life” upgrade notification to users — and then it’s pulling the plug on support.
I say most users because there are a few exceptions based on your computer’s Windows Operating System. For example, if you’re running Windows Vista you can still get Microsoft support for Internet Explorer 9 after Jan. 12. Click here to see what the most current version of Internet Explorer is for your specific Windows Operating System.
But if you’re using one of the older versions of the popular Internet Explorer Web browser and you’re operating on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, you will no longer receive security updates, compatibility fixes or technical support from Microsoft, which will leave you more vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks.
Microsoft “encourages customers to upgrade” to Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of the browser, which it said offers “improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the Web standards that power today’s websites and services.”
According to data provided by NetMarketShare, Microsoft’s move could affect up to 20 percent of Internet browsers.
The tech giant first announced its plans to end support of older Internet Explorer browsers in 2014; so theoretically, people have had plenty of time to prepare.
Even if you don’t use Internet Explorer for your Web browsing, you still may need to update to the latest version or you could be vulnerable, according to computer security news site Naked Security.
“The majority of you who are on Windows 7 seem to do your browsing in Firefox, Chrome or another non-Microsoft browser, but you still have Internet Explorer installed and ready to run if called upon” so Naked Security recommends checking to see what version of Internet Explorer you have on your computer.
It’s also noteworthy that Microsoft is ending its tech support for Windows 8 on Jan. 12. So if you haven’t transitioned to Windows 8.1 or 10, now is the time to do it.
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