the gateway to the internet and its infinite offerings. Besides the excitement of cat videos and social networks, you also have several choices of browsers to suit your need for speed and functionality. However, today we’re discussing something yet more important than which is the most flash and speedy browser. Our vital topic right now is how to keep your chosen browser up to date.
“Why is it important? I’ll do it tomorrow. Don’t be lame” we hear you cry. But before you shut me up by clicking that red cross up there on the right, hear me out. If you’re not using the latest version of your browser, you could be putting your privacy and possibly even your bank account in jeopardy. While most people keep their browsers updated so they get a slick and speedy internet experience, not everyone realises that these updates are security related also. Programmers are constantly working on new ways to optimize the safest and most private browsers possible, so if you don’t go for that new update, you’re not just using a slightly slower system, but its security features will also be becoming more outdated with each new day. And those clever yet pesky hackers are always quick to seize on any weakness. Updates fix security issues, so make sure you don’t unconsciously stick with those security issues and give hackers a chance! Worst case scenario, hackers will be able to steal your data and even your identity, meaning you could lose heaps of cash. Even if you’re super careful with which websites you visit and what you download.
That’s all the scariness over now, here is the happy internet ending and how to avoid all this nasty business. Best of all, most of the services have made the process as automatic as possible, so anyone can do it. The process is similar for all, whether it be Firefox, or Chrome etc. But we’ve laid out a how-to for each browser below. Not sure which browser you’ve been using? Well, wherever you usually click to get on the internet, there should the browser’s logo and name. If you’re still bamboozled, head over to updatemybrowser.org. This handy site will not only tell you which browser you’re using, but whether or not it’s the latest version. We love the fact it says ‘you’re using the latest version of your browser! That’s awesome’. Hopefully they aren’t too rude if you haven’t updated yet.
Righto, here is how to get updated straight away for each of the main browsers in use today:
In Windows, all updates are handled through Windows Update. We very much recommend enabling automatic updates for both browser and security updates, just to make life that little bit easier. For Windows Vista 7 and 8, open control panel, go to System and Security, click on ‘turn automatic updating on or off’ and then ‘install updates automatically.’ This is the easiest way to have your browser and security running to the best of its ability. To run Windows Update manually, just click Windows Update and then “Check for updates.”
Another almost too easy to be true scenario. The crafty fox automatically checks for updates, and will drop you a message in the form of a dialogue box when these are available to you. So just hit the download button when you’re ready (remember not to put it off too long!). Or if you want all the power and wish to do it manually – click Firefox then ‘about Firefox’ to get information about the version you’re running and if it’s the latest version. As we’ll mention with Opera later, you need to restart Firefox when you’ve installed the update, so make sure you’re not in the middle of a terribly important Facebook message when the time comes.
Those clever chaps at Google have set about Chrome checking for updates of its own free will. It gets better – if Chrome finds any, it automatically downloads and installs the update as soon as you close your browser. So if you’re one of those people that likes to leave your browser open for days at time (maybe you just can’t bear to close Facebook), then obviously you’ll miss out on this convenient feature. If you refuse to have a break from Twitter and close your browser, keep your eye on the Chrome menu (button with three horizonal lines, top right) – it will turn green if there are uninstalled updates. As with Firefox, you can make these checks manually if you go into the Chrome menu followed by About Google Chrome.
To avoid Nessum Dorma style drama, here is how to keep Opera updated and your internet browsing safe. Similarly to Firefox, Opera is always on the self-lookout for updates, and a dialogue box will appear when any are available. If only these boxes appearing were accompanied by some actual opera, perhaps Andrea Bocelli dramatically singing ‘you have a new update available’. Anyway, you then have the option of downloading the update there and then, or being reminded later. You have to restart Opera to get the new version alive and kicking, so if you’re in the middle of something important, or procrastinating with cat videos, you can install the newbie later. But remember, don’t put it off too long, or the hackers will getcha!
Or, if you’re thinking it sounds like Chrome users have it better, you can have the same automated service by clicking “Automatically install updates without notification from now on” in the auto-update dialog. Opera then does all the hard stuff for you, like a magic flute. Again, you can check for updates yourself. Click Opera in the file menu and then ‘check for updates.’ Voila.
Right you Apple Mac types, if you feel this blog has been a bit too PC then here is how to update Apple’s own browser. Like all Mac software, Safari updates are handled through the App store. You should get a notification to let you know when the latest version of Safari is at your disposal. Check your settings (see below) if you’re not getting these. As with Windows Update, the App store is there to keep Mac types secure in their internet doings.
Or if you like to keep it manual, click on the Apple icon top left and then choosing Software Updates, which then opens the App Store which will let you know where you stand on the update front. If you’re not getting updates automatically, go to Apple, System Preferences, then App Store. There, you’ll have the option to automatically check for updates and even to install updates without any pesky notifications.
So no excuses, go forth and update! Play your part in the war against internet thieves. By clicking a button. It really is that simple. Happy browsing!