A computer’s browser has a lot in common with the human body. Much like how the human body is the brain’s first interpreter of the world around us through our senses, the web browser is the computer’s interpreter of the vast online universe known as the web.
When functioning at full capacity, a browser takes information from websites and reconfigures that data to what we recognize as words, pictures, videos and sounds, all neatly arranged in an easy-to-consume format.
Conversely, when a web browser is out of date or, like its human counterpart, “a little under the weather,” it may not be able to arrange data into a readable form.
Additionally, just like when the human body is unhealthy and the immune system is more susceptible to further problems, an outmoded browser is far more likely to contract a virus or be overrun with annoying spam.
These intruders and viruses generally have one or two effects.
The most direct effect is that the user’s data (including banking information, secure work details, personal photos, and email) may be stolen, corrupted or deleted.
Alternatively, the user’s computer may become a cyber criminal by proxy, sending out spam emails and contributing to attacks on other websites. Both types of attacks may occur simultaneously, without the user ever knowing.
To keep your preferred browser looking, feeling, and working its best, it’s necessary to occasionally give it a booster shot, in the form of an update.
Updating your browser has tangible benefits in addition to the improved security these updates provide.
The first benefit is akin to having a GPS or co-pilot. Some updates may make web navigation easier and possibly faster, which, in the long run, will negate any downtime while the update is downloaded and installed. An older browser also will also not always work with a modern website.
The internet is constantly changing and evolving. Programmers and developers as well as businesses and organizations are always trying to find a better and more effective way to reach their audience.
Updates to the markup language that’s used to present information on the web (e.g. HTML5, CSS) require the use of updated browsers, and by failing to do so you may be missing out on newer features or might even be unable to access certain sites.
Perhaps most beneficial to the user is that updates are often designed to enhance the web experience. The newest apps and add-ons are designed to work most effectively with the most recent updates. There is also the ability to further customize the browser to suit the user’s needs, wants, and preferences.
As a web-based program, Penelope users will experience similar benefits by keeping their web browser up-to-date. Athena often releases new features and updates, many of which work best with the latest versions of browsers we support.
For example, even something as simple as printing documents from Penelope can be affected by the age of your browser. To ensure as smooth a user experience as possible, and for the security reasons mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to stay up-to date with the latest version of our supported browsers.
Users should check for browser updates regularly. Most browsers have several options for scheduling updates. The way that will be most familiar to users is a pop-up window asking if they would like to update. While this may be the most effective way to remind a user, it may not be the most convenient.
Some browsers can automatically search for the latest updates and may also be able to schedule a less intrusive time when these updates can occur, like evenings or weekends. Check your browser’s help tab for more information on how to install or schedule updates.
With the ability to avoid annoying slowdowns due to old software through either upgrading immediately or scheduling it at a convenient time, upgrading only makes sense. When you tack on the additional security and the ability to customize your browser to suit your needs isn’t it time your browser got a booster?
Remember, a healthy browser is a happy browser!