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The internet has now become such a big part of our lives and whether you’re using it on your mobile, tablet or laptop, you probably spend more time browsing everyday than you think. That’s why it’s important that you have the most up-to-date browser to make sure you’re as secure as you can be online.

If you’re an Internet Explorer user, Microsoft ended its support of the versions 8, 9 and 10 of the browser on January 12th – so you’ll need to make sure that you upgrade to the newest version as soon as possible to stay safe against any potential security breaches.

Internet Explorer 11

The latest version of the browser is Internet Explorer 11, which Microsoft is encouraging Windows users to upgrade to. This is because from now on this version will continue to receive security updates and technical support while versions 8, 9 and 10 will not – potentially leaving them more vulnerable to security breaches and hackers.

If you’re still using the older versions of the browser, you should receive an ‘End of Life’ notification telling you to switch to the latest version. Alternatively, you could be encouraged to switch to Microsoft Edge, the new-look browser for the company.

How to update

You can check which version of Internet Explorer (IE) you’re using by opening the browser and clicking on the Gear icon in the top right of your screen. Select ‘About Internet Explorer’ and a pop-up box should fill your screen telling you which version of the browser is currently running.

It generally depends on your operating system which version you’ll have installed. If you’re running Windows XP it will be IE 8, Windows Vista has IE 9, Windows 7, 8 and RT run IE 10 and Windows 8.1 and RT 8.1 run IE 11 – unless you’ve upgraded your browser manually before now. It won’t cost you anything to upgrade to the newest version and you can visit the Microsoft upgrade page to download it.

Unfortunately, if you’re a Windows XP user, Internet Explorer 11 isn’t supported on your operating system. Microsoft cut off support for Windows XP back in April 2014, meaning that it no longer receives security support. Because of this, it would be wise to switch to another browser: the latest version of Firefox runs on Windows XP, as does the browser Opera.

Why is it important to update your browser?

Think about how much information your web browser has on you. Your browser has probably witnessed you inputting your online banking details, as well as personal information from your social media and email accounts – so it’s important that your browser is as secure as it can be.

Not only that but you should ensure that you have up-to-date antivirus installed onto your computer, to make sure that you don’t fall prey to malicious malware (viruses). You don’t have to pay to install these on your computer either, there are a number of free antivirus software programs available including Avast, Avira, Panda Security and AVG.

For more information on how to stay safe online, read our guide.

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