Today is a day we all saw coming for a while. Internet Explorer has released “End of Life” notifications on versions 8, 9, and 10 of IE. What does this mean? Effective today, support for these older versions of IE will no longer be available, meaning that there will be no security patches, and no upgrades, leaving these older versions of IE vulnerable to exploitation and attack.
Dangers of Out-of-Date Browsers
The threat stems from the fact that there are no security updates and patches on out-of-date versions of browsers. Old versions of browsers often have security vulnerabilities that are known to hackers. Google regularly rewards Chrome users who find and report security vulnerabilities. Over time, browser developers compile reported and discovered bugs (which include security flaws), write patches for them and release new versions with all known vulnerabilities fixed. Users upgrade their browser with the fixes, discover new bugs and report them. Thus the cycle repeats.
How Browser Vulnerabilities Can Hurt You
It doesn’t take long for hackers to exploit these vulnerabilities and access your information while shopping, banking or browsing online. Users who continue operating outdated browsers with no security updates, such as Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 run the risk of exposing personal information to those who exploit these security vulnerabilities.
What You Can Do
Don’t panic. First, upgrade your browser to the newest version and regularly check for upgrades. We’ve provided a list of links to upgrade the most popular browsers below. If you’re one of the 340 million Internet Explorer users, you may want to switch to Chrome, FF, Safari or Opera. If you’re not ready to take the plunge into a new browser, you can either upgrade to IE 11 or to Microsoft Edge, which requires Windows 10.
* Extra tip: only download browsers and extensions from official stores.