If you’re someone who doesn’t normally give much thought to which web browser you’re using or don’t know how to check (for reference, you would open the browser and click the Gear or Question Mark icon in the top right and select ‘About Internet Explorer’), now would be the time. You might be one of the 20% of internet users who received an “End of Life” notice from Microsoft, urging you to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or Edge. This is because as of Tuesday, January 12th, Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10 were officially put to bed.
What does this mean for the non-upgraders of the world? While you’ll still have access to the browser, you will no longer be receiving security updates and support from Microsoft. With this increased risk of hacker vulnerability, you might want to think twice before sharing your personal or credit card information. And for a population with a fondness for online shopping, upgrading is looking smarter and smarter.
For those of you feeling indignant towards the suddenness of Microsoft’s change, please be advised that the switch was first announced back in August of 2014, and that there are some operating systems where older versions of IE will still be supported (for example, on Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server, and Windows Embedded for Point of Service). IE version 11 and Edge were also supposedly designed to deliver a better and more protected user experience, so it seems that Microsoft has our best interests at heart after all. Hopefully that remaining 20% will feel the same and follow through with the upgrade, rather than switching to Google Chrome or Firefox altogether.
One last word to the unwise during this time of mourning (or rejoicing, depending on your views) – make sure to be careful during the upheaval, as hackers may take advantage of the confusion and send you seemingly legitimate e-mails requesting that you click on certain links, submit personal information, or install malware. Microsoft is not in the habit of sending out unsolicited emails like the above, so as a safety precaution, follow the on-screen Windows instructions to upgrade your browser instead.