Weekend Computer Update: Browsing securely

A common question I get asked and a common issue I face when “straightening out” someone’s computer pertains to what BROWSER should be used.

Your browser is the application that you use to view pages on the internet. You may search via Google in your browser. You may be familiar with typing in www(dot)……. something in your browser.

I generally steer both Mac and Windows clients to Firefox or Google Chrome. The reason I like these browsers is because they are universal; their features are nearly the same in the Mac and Windows versions. Safari is Apple’s browser that is set to be the default on all new Macs. One can still set Firefox or Chrome to be the default on their Mac, however I am not recommending you do that if you are happy with Safari. If you are happy with Safari, keep using it. However, if you use Windows please don’t use Internet Explorer. All I can say is — I believe more problems will happen if you use it. You can’t easily block ads in Internet Explorer. If you’ll recall, BAD ADS are the cause of a lot of security problems .

One nice feature of both Google Chrome and Firefox is that they have updaters built in. As long as you have a fairly current version, you will never need to worry bout updates again. The current versions of these two preferred browsers are 25 and 19, respectively.

** (Windows especially — but Mac also) if you get a prompt for a JAVA update on your computer, please do it. This means you have Java on there and you have probably used it in the past. This is a security issue. If at a later time, we can determine that you don’t use JAVA at all then I think its safe to remove it, but let’s make that determination when we look at your computer together. For now, UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE. If you are prompted for Flash and Adobe Reader updates, don’t delay on those either.

For computer issues great and small — performance issues, setting up a new iPad, iPhone or Android phone, contemplating a new computer, and whatever you are facing, I would be happy to see you this week.