If you haven’t upgraded to a more recent version of one of Microsoft’s browsers, you will have to do so soon - like, today. Microsoft is officially yanking the plug on Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. This means that any patches related to those versions of IE will no longer exist, and you will not be able to get help for any of those versions.
Microsoft will end support for these versions of IE on January 12th, 2016.
Why Upgrading Matters
Once a company officially ends support for programs, anyone using an obsolete program is highly susceptible to hackers. Since no more patches or security upgrades will be happening, you will have to ward off hackers on your own if you continue to use an outdated program. It doesn’t make much sense to keep using those programs.
Microsoft has put out one last batch of patches for the programs mentioned above, but going forward there will be no more security patches or general support. What are your options if you need to upgrade? Try IE 11 or Microsoft Edge instead of the older version that you are currently running. It might cost you more to upgrade, but the alternative is to run a system that is highly susceptible to hackers.
You’ve Been Warned
This is not the first that Microsoft has talked of pulling the plug on older programs. The company did warn users back in August of 2014 that support for the previously mentioned programs would end soon. So, to be fair, the company has given users more than a year now to change or upgrade. While there will no doubt be some protests related to the end of these programs, the fact remains that Microsoft did forewarn its users.
Should you decide to live a dangerous life and keep using your beloved older versions of Internet Explorer, you do so at your own risk. As mentioned, your system will be wide open to hackers, and, yes, hackers are simply waiting for those people that do not upgrade because, well, the target is just too tempting and easy.
How to Upgrade
If you need to upgrade (and you really do if you have an older version of IE), head to Microsoft’s website and check out what the company is offering as an alternative to those older versions of Internet Explorer. Even though Microsoft did mention that the company would be getting rid of support for older versions of Internet Explorer, there are some people that are still using those version and are unaware of these changes.
If you have a mom or dad or grandparent that is using an older version and doesn’t understand where the support went, make sure to send them this article or just give them a hand. It’s often the older population (or those that just aren’t into tech news) that are targeted by hackers. Once again, Microsoft is eliminating older versions of Internet Explorer, so make sure to upgrade by January 12th of 2016 or be left in the dark.