Top Computer Tip for 2013

Change Your Browser

 

Want to surf the web faster and  safer?

Here is one tip I have gleaned from many of the computer service calls I performed last year that can help you do just that! Switch your default web browser from Internet Explorer to either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Internet Explorer, often simply called IE, is that "Big Blue E" on your desktop, task bar or program list that you click on to surf or "browse" the Internet. That is why it (IE) is also called a web browser. IE is the default, perhaps only, web browser on Windows based computers, so Internet Explorer is the program that most of us first use to surf the Internet. Since IE is what we learn on (what we know), some of us never use anything else.

 

Regrettably, during 2012 many of the calls for computer repair I received were in whole or part caused by vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and one or more of its plug-ins, such as Active X, Acrobat, Flash and Java.

Microsoft (IE), Adobe (Acrobat and Flash) and Oracle (Java) issue frequent updates to fix the problems. Often, however, the updates prove to be too little to late. Exploits and infections, like the "FBI Ransom Trojan" continue to plague users.

Perhaps even worse, at least some of these updates impair IE's ability to work with some very popular web pages and sites, including Yahoo, MSN and Roadrunner, causing them to load VERY slowly or not at all.

After attending several lengthy explanations by an internationally acclaimed "Propeller Head", and nodding off long before he finished, I am proud to say that I did stay awake long enough to learn that there are several, convoluted, confusing and complicated things everyone would be better off doing. Things that I'll bet neither you nor I are going to do. Things like turning off services, running special scripts, doing frequent updates, avoiding certain sites, using virtual machines, running in a sandbox and so on. None of which, or even all of which in combination, can assure our total safety.

Fortunately, there is one thing, one simple thing that anyone can do that will really help. Switch browsers

While IE browser might be your browser by default, it is not the only browser available. Two excellent alternatives for Internet Explorer are Mozilla Firefox and, my current favorite, Google Chrome. Both are safer and faster that Internet Explorer. You might already have one or both of them installed on your computer. If not, they are easy to get and they are FREE.

Bonus – with Firefox and Chrome you can synchronize your bookmarks (favorites) and other settings among all of your computers, smart phones and tablets. And since your computer will be less prone to infection you'll save money because you won't be calling me as often.

Hey, wait a minute. Am I sure I really want you to know this?

I am!

If you need help switching from Internet Explorer, understanding or making Firefox or Chrome your new default browser (or you decide to stay with IE and fight) ... Call.

Gee, I gotta have something to do :)