The New Year provides the perfect opportunity to take stock of what’s important in your work life. In the small to medium-sized business world, technology routinely tops that list — you can’t work well without technology, and technology that doesn’t work well will only hold you back.
Only a week into 2016, one major issue deserves attention: the end of support for older versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.
What does “end of support” mean?
Starting January 12th, only Internet Explorer 11 — the most up-to-date version currently used by Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 operating systems — will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support.
According to Microsoft, “Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today’s websites and services. Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience.”
What does this mean?
If you’re currently using Internet Explorer 10 or earlier, you should take action. After January 12th, no further security updates or technical support will be available for any version of the popular browser beside IE 11. If you continue to use anything but IE 11 beyond January 12th, vulnerabilities usually patched by security updates could be exploited by malware, spyware, viruses, or other cyberattacks. In addition, if your business is subject to government or industry compliance regulations such as HIPAA, unsupported software could put critical data at risk.
What should you do?
Check your version of Internet Explorer — and see whether automatic updates are turned on.
• From your desktop, click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar
• Click the Help or Tools button, then click About Internet Explorer
• Select Install new versions automatically, then click Close
If you’re unsure about automatic updates, consult an experienced IT provider. Some computer users are wary about automated procedures — or don’t how know to verify them. That’s the benefit of proactive IT maintenance and monitoring managed by an IT provider like CMIT Solutions: our around-the-clock services take care of updates, patches, and other security-related software and hardware deployments so that you don’t have to worry about them.
In addition, small to medium-sized businesses can take advantage of Internet Explorer 11’s Enterprise Mode, which offers better backward compatibility in case you need to run legacy web applications for older versions of IE. A trusted IT provider can help you put Enterprise Mode to work for you.
Beyond keeping your computer safe from potential security vulnerabilities related to Internet Explorer end of support, how else can proactive IT services benefit your business?
• By keeping your employees productive and efficient, which saves you money
• By keeping your data and network secure, which gives you peace of mind
• By keeping your systems running 24/7, which allows you to better serve your customers
• By keeping your IT goals in focus, which helps you strategize for the future
• By keeping human intelligence — high-level consultants, help desk technicians, and on-site support — in charge of your technology, which provides a valuable competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace
Want your systems to remain secure without wasting valuable time trying to fix problems yourself? Concerned about how the end of support for Internet Explorer will affect your business and your computers? Contact CMIT Solutions today to find out how our comprehensive IT support can keep you safe.