Often i found myself wondering about why people use some antique and insecure software. For example Internet Explorer 6. This browser was launched back in 2001 and many many people still use it. Now when Internet Explorer 8 is about to be launched. In fact if you look in the statistics of any high trafic website you can see that Internet Explorer 6 is the most used browser. After that comes other variants of Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Also there is a high number of people still using Firefox 2. If in IE6 case we can understand to some point that people found it difficult to upgrade, in Firefox’s case we cannot. Because Firefox has built in updating mechanisms which deliver users a new version right as it is available. I must assume that people deliberately opt not to upgrade. And i cannot understand why!
Why is wrong to use old and in most cases unsupported software ?
1. Because these software products (IE6 and/or Firefox 2) have some serious security vulnerabilities which are very much known to hackers. If you wondering why you are full of viruses and trojans, why your personal information is being stolen, you can blame those old and insecure browser you are using.
2. Because some of the sites you’re visiting won’t display properly in them. Many of the newer sites were designed for modern browsers and probably use features that you’re browser isn’t capable to understand.
3. Because older browser in some cases tend to use more computing resources (memory and processor). For example Firefox 3 has been optimized to consume less memory then Firefox 2.
4. Because it lacks many features that could increase your browsing experience. Modern browsers have tabbed browsing, included phishing filter, private navigation and much more.
Yeah but i heard one must pay for Internet Explorer 7 ?
At first people had to validate their Windows to be able to install Internet Explorer 7, but later Microsoft realized that doing this will just help hackers to exploit Internet Explorer’s vulnerabilities. So they removed the need for validation. You can check out news about this here, here and here.
You can just download and install Internet Explorer 7 even if you have a pirated Windows. In fact if you turn on your Automatic Updates feature you will be upgraded for free and you also receive some security patches in order to secure your computer.
Why you shouldn’t disable Automatic Updates
Microsoft Windows has a built in feature called Automatic Updates. What this does ? When certain bugs or security vulnerabilities are discovered in Windows or other Microsoft products like Internet Explorer, Microsoft issues a patch to fix these problems. With Automatic Updates enabled these fixes are downloaded to your computer and applied to your operating system and affected programs.
So what is your problem with Firefox 2, i have been told its safe!
It was safe a year ago. Now it isn’t. The Mozilla foundation stopped supporting Firefox 2. You can read about this here. It states clearly:
“Please note: If you’re still using Firefox 2.0.0.x, this version is no longer supported and contains known security vulnerabilities. Please upgrade to Firefox 3 by downloading Firefox 3.0.6 from getfirefox.com.”
Ok, you convinced me. What options i have ?
If you like Internet Explorer you can stick to it. Just upgrade to a newer version like Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8.
If you like Firefox you should use the latest version and if not you should still use some variant of Firefox 3.
You can try some other browsers like:
No matter which of these you use, upgrade to the latest version if you want a safer web and a better browsing experience.