“It’s dead, Jim…” Say Goodbye To Internet Explorer

After being the main entry to the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Internet Explorer (IE) is gone. In June, Microsoft dropped the web browser from support.

IE ushered in the age of connection to the world in 1995 and held a majority of the browser market share for many years. In 2014, Internet Explorer still held about 59% of the global market share, with Chrome at 21%. But just two years later, IE lost its top spot to Chrome and trailed behind another newcomer, Safari.

In 2015, the writing was already on the wall when Microsoft released a new browser, Edge. Edge was destined to take IE’s place as the official browser installed on Windows systems.

It’s inevitable, the longer technology is driving work and home life, that we’re going to lose some of our favorites. Adobe Flash Player is another technology that used to be widely used and is now gone. So, now that IE has reached its end of life (EOL), what happens next?

Microsoft Will Redirect Users to IE Mode in Edge

According to Microsoft, now that IE is officially out of support, it will redirect users. A new experience is underway. Those opening this outdated browser will instead land in Microsoft Edge with IE mode.

To ease the transition away from Internet Explorer, Microsoft added IE Mode to Edge. This mode makes it possible for organizations to still use legacy sites that may have worked best in IE.

When in IE mode, you’ll still see the Internet Explorer icon on your device. But if you open it, you’ll actually be in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Will Be Removing Internet Explorer Icons in the Future

Microsoft isn’t yet getting rid of the IE icons that appear in places like the taskbar and Start menu on Windows. But it will in a future update. Users can expect to see those removed at some point.

Edge Will Import Browser Data from IE

What about your favorites, saved passwords, and other settings that you have in IE? Microsoft Edge will import these from Internet Explorer for you, so they’re not lost.

This will include things like your browsing history and other data stored in the browser. You’ll then be able to access these in the Microsoft Edge’s settings area.

With IE Retired, What Do You Need to Do Now?

Uninstall Internet Explorer. It’s risky to keep older technology that is no longer supported on your system.

Cybercriminals love to exploit older tools that are not receiving any security updates. This leaves an open invitation to breach your network and steal your confidential data.

Mozilla And Google Boosts Anti-Tracking And Security

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

Internet security changes all the time and so does the variety of issues. We have to be sure to run anti-virus, watch out for infections and phishing, and regularly change our passwords just to start the process of being safe on the Internet.

There are people that spend time to create these viruses and other hidden or unwanted system modifications.

While their motivation may not be known (usually money), one of the hazards of using the Internet is dealing with the headaches these things can cause.

On top of regular infections, there are many data gathering processes that can run in the background of your system.

These can be gathering data to send to someone attempting to steal your information. There are also websites that gather data when you visit, login, or create an account.

While there are instances where gathering data is used maliciously as I mentioned, it is also something legitimate sites can be guilty of. In 2019, you may have heard of sites like Google and Facebook gathering information, but what and how much are they gathering? What can you do about it?

Earlier this year, the International Computer Science Institute investigated Google and the Applications linked with its Playstore.

Applications downloaded from Google and the Playstore can gather data, and that can be used to create your Advertising ID. This ID is unique, but is and can be reset.

Many applications were also linking that Advertising ID with the hardware IDs of a device, such as the MAC address. This is forbidden as it allows the data to be permanently stored, even when you erase your history and erase the application data. Google is addressing the issue and already forcing some applications to change its data gathering process.

Google is also stepping up security for mobile devices in another way. Users that are familiar with Chrome and its password storing may know the browser version of Google can suggest a strong password.

This is now coming to mobile devices as well, which will sync security across all devices, prompting you to use a strong and unique password when it is determined your password is weak or frequently used.

Facebook may be the king of data harvesting. I am sure many of you have searched for something on the Internet, then noticed ads on Facebook showing that item. This is part of targeted advertising done by Facebook.

Facebook has the ability to follow you around the web, checking your browser habits and collecting user data anytime you are on a site with a Like or comment section from Facebook attached.

Mozilla Firefox introduced the Facebook Container extension for its browser last year, which keeps Facebook isolated.

While it has been out for awhile, 2.0 was just released, which blocks those sites with the Facebook links from gathering information.

Firefox is stepping up the anti-tracking to another level as well. The browser debuted its new “Enhanced Tracking Protection.” Mozilla teamed up with Disconnect, an open source anti-tracking program to create this new protection that blocks over 1,000 third party websites from gathering data while you browse the Internet.

This feature is enabled by default once the browser is updated to its newest version.

Some may not worry about their privacy online, but for those who do, it’s time to update.

How To Reduce Pop-Ups And Other Browser Best Practices

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

One of the most annoying things about browsing the web are pop-ups. Depending on your browser, your ability to limit or block pop-ups is probably built-in. If it’s not, there is definitely an extension for that purpose.

There are also other ways to ensure you have the best and fastest browsing experience possible.

Before we get into which browsers have which kind of pop-up blocker, let’s examine a fact. Pop-ups are annoying, but not always intrusive or unwanted.

There are instances where I need a pop-up from a site as it may be an internal page that has been requested or a log-in box. This can be frustrating as we may not know a pop-up is coming from a link. It may appear that nothing has happened.

So how do you know? The best practice and safest way is to allow pop-ups from sites you trust (as needed).

Say you’re on your banking site and you click log-in. Normally, a pop-up log-in box is displayed, but nothing happens. The pop-up has been blocked.

In the browser, you can enable this webpage to allow pop-ups, thus restoring your access and keeping you secure in the process.

In addition to pop-ups, users must also be on the lookout for pop-under windows. These are typically pages that open with other pages, like a tag along. They also frequently occur when attempting to leave a web page. They pop underneath other windows, hence the name. In most cases, pop-up blockers will stop most pop-unders.

So what about the browsers? Well, let’s just cover the Big Three: Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

These browsers all come with a built-in pop-up blocker – all of which can be enabled in the settings page of the browser.

In most cases, these will do what you want them to: stop pop-ups. However, there are some instances where pop-ups or pop-unders make it through. There are third party extensions for most browsers that will typically offer more security.

Now that these pop-ups are handled, what else can we do to make a better browser experience? There are a few things you can do to perform sort of “maintenance” on your browser.

Clearing your cache (stored data) can help a website that doesn’t want to load very quickly. Most people know about clearing your browsing history, but there are other clean-up methods available.

There are a few different types of stored data associated with browser use. Some of this is background information, temporary data, passwords, and preferences. You can choose which parts to remove, so you can still keep your saved information without having to reenter it.

Another quick and easy tune up process is to remove any unused browser extensions. This can help with basic browser speed and performance.

Maintaining a generally healthy system is also a key to browser speed. Malware and adware can often specifically affect browsers. Any malware affecting the entire system would affect your browsing speed as well.

The best practice you can have is to use a strong antivirus and scan your computer regularly. There are many factors at play and paying attention to all of them is key to the best browsing experience.

Browser Battle: Why Chrome Continues To Take Over

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

Every day I see different browsers on different computers. There’s Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Vivaldi, Opera, and Apple’s Safari browser. Some people like to stick with what they know, and they use Internet Explorer or even Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

There are those people that really love Mozilla’s Firefox browser and are loyal and comfortable using that. Apple users tend to stick with Safari, like how Windows users use Internet Explorer and Edge, because it’s the default they’ve used for years.

I made the switch to Google Chrome for good about 5 or 6 years ago, and I continue to use it as my browser of choice.

There are preference issues and everyone likes what they like, but there is definitely more to why I use Google Chrome over the other browsers. There are even reasons why I think you should probably use Chrome too.

Let’s start by acknowledging that there are certain websites that only have full functionality in a certain browser and that’s OK. Maybe you need to use Internet Explorer for something. Use what you need to for certain tasks. When you have a choice, use Chrome.

Chrome is celebrating its 10th birthday with a nice updated look, but that’s just the surface. It continues to add features that not only improve your user experience, but also help make things a little more secure.

Chrome now will auto-generate and suggest strong passwords for new accounts created, keeping them unique and therefore significantly more secure.

Google also made sure that the mobile integration for Chrome is second to none. Just make sure you are signed in on your computer and your phone to keep all of your bookmarks and browsing synced.

While a browser like Firefox may meet some of the standards set by Google, there are areas other browsers just can’t stack up.

Mozilla has updated and launched a new and improved mobile app. It is now faster than it was ever before. Want to sync your data between your phone and computer browser with Mozilla? Sure, just create a completely separate account, link them, and hope for the best. Mozilla’s ability to share bookmarks is fair, but it can’t keep the settings streamlined.

These are the areas that Google Chrome excels in, making your browsing experience seamless.

The password manager will also make using your account on multiple devices much easier, as you can use the manager to store passwords and use them on any device you are signed in to.

If you own an Android phone or use the Google Play store but don’t use Chrome, you are missing out on great app integration.

Another reason Chrome pulls ahead in the battle is because of its amazing app library and easy integration and updates. Other browsers can’t begin to offer the things that Google does.

If you need more reason, consider that most of the major browsers use Google’s safe browsing programming to detect potentially dangerous sites.

Consider that these companies are using someone else’s programming to keep you safe… and that programming is from the clear leader in the browser battle: Google Chrome.

Chrome: The New Standard Browser For Business


Jared Stemeye is a Help Desk Technician at Tech Experts.

Numerous enterprises still consider Microsoft’s web browsers as the standard browsers. On paper, Internet Explorer is venerability defined. However, the reality of such claims are a bit different, industry analysts argue.

“Microsoft retains a very strong relationship with [enterprise] IT,” says Gartner Technology Research analyst, David Michael Smith, in an interview. “Most enterprises still have a ‘standard’ browser, and most of the time, that’s something from Microsoft. These days it’s IE11. But we’ve found that people actually use Chrome more than IE.”

Smith, who was updating a 2015 research report on browsers in enterprise, was adamant that, at the time of forecast, Chrome was and still is the king.

“It’s the most-used browser in enterprise,” Smith discloses, referring to Google Chrome.

Internet Explorer still retains a sizable share – Smith calls it “a significant presence” – generally because it’s still essential in most companies. “There are a lot of [proprietary web software, portals, and] applications that only work in IE, because those apps use IE browser specific plug-ins,” Smith stated, indicating examples like legacy versions of Adobe Flash, Java, and Microsoft Silverlight.

“Anything that requires an ActiveX control still needs IE,” Smith concludes.

Many businesses have adopted the modern/legacy implementation strategy: keep the IE browser to handle older sites, services, and web apps, but offer a modern browser for everything else.

That approach lets employees access the old, but does not punish them with a rigid, sub-standard browser for general-purpose use. With this strategy Internet Explorer has played (and continues to play), the legacy role. All while, Chrome remains the most used browser in the world.

There are a few reasons why Chrome is widely used. Doing business on the go is becoming more and more common, even necessary. For that, Chrome boasts some of the best mobile integration available. With Google mobile apps offered on every major platform, it’s easy to keep your data in sync, so seamlessly browsing between multiple devices is easy.

Sign-in to your Google account on one device and all your Chrome bookmarks, saved data, and preferences come right along. It’s a standard feature you can find on other platforms, but Chrome’s integration is the best in the industry.

Secondly, Chrome is fast and light – and with a thriving extension library, it’s as fully featured or as trimmed down as you want it to be. Everything is right where it should be. Privacy and security controls are laid out and accessible while the browser gets out of your way when you need it to.

With all of this included, the most important of these reasons is Google’s announcement of a new Chrome Enterprise Bundle that is suggested to make integration and company standards compliance a breeze. It will help admins deploy and manage the Chrome browser across an entire company. It also provides admins a single installer for the Chrome browser and the Chrome Legacy Browser Support extension (for running an ActiveX widget and administrative policy templates).

Bottom line, Google is vying for the top spot in both consumer and enterprise browser usage, and they are doing a heck of a job achieving this goal. They have already managed to sideline Microsoft’s browser on its own OS, especially in cases where users are not on Windows 10, and don’t have access to “Edge”- Microsoft’s modern browser platform. The true king of business web browsers has become, and will remain, Chrome for the foreseeable future.

Older Internet Explorer No Longer Supported

Microsoft recently made the announcement that it will no longer offer support for Internet Explorer versions prior to Explorer 11.

It is also only through Explorer 11 that users can receive updates for the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. While this does not prevent users from continuing to turn to Internet Explorer for their browsing needs, it does serve as a call to action for optimum usability and security while surfing the web.

Without up-to-date security patches, devices are at risk of malware and other forms of malicious attacks.

In addition to such security risks, users who continue to use unsupported versions of Explorer may lose Independent Software Vendor (ISV) support or encounter compliance issues.

The company also outlined how Explorer users can update to the latest version, at no extra charge. People who use Internet Explorer (IE) can be roughly divided into three categories: Enterprise users, small to medium businesses, and home PC users. Each groups has a slightly different means to upgrade to Explorer 11; however, their experience should be hassle free.

Albeit, some small-to-medium business owners have expressed concerns about their line-of-business (LOB) application having a dependency on a particular Explorer version. Microsoft has addressed this concern by integrating an Enterprise Mode into Explorer 11 that allows backward compatibility with web applications specifically designed for previous versions of Explorer.

Smaller businesses, whose software does not depend on previous IE versions, can upgrade through Automatic Updates or contact a Certified Microsoft Partner like Tech Experts for assistance.

Home PC users could see an automatic upgrade to Explorer 11 via Automatic Updates.

Still, if the home PC upgrades are set to ‘off’, updates to Explorer 11 will have to be done manually through the Control Panel and the Check for Updates button under the Windows Update tab.

Coming Of “Edge:” Microsoft’s New Browser

Up until now, Internet Explorer’s successor has been secretly referred to as Project Spartan during Microsoft’s development stage. At the Microsoft Build 2015 Developer Conference, the project name was finally announced as the company’s newest browser: Edge.

The name was already familiar to those in the know because Project Spartan’s page-rendering engine was known as Edge, but now the name has been elevated to describe the product as a whole.

For those who have had difficulties with Internet Explorer, this new browser is long overdue, but Edge should turn their frowns into smiles because it is much faster and more compatible with modern web standards.

Edge joins its competitors, like Firefox and Chrome, in the use of extensions and actually uses the same JavaScript and HTML standard code.

This means that Microsoft’s new browser can easily adopt its competitor’s extensions. In fact, Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s VP of Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, demoed a couple of extensions at the conference. However, you won’t see the extensions feature in Windows 10 until later this year.

Cortana, Windows 10’s Siri-like virtual voice assistant, makes an appearance in Edge as well. When needed, Cortana shows up in a blue circle in the browser’s toolbar to relay pertinent information related to the landing page, such as directions to a local business or contact information.

Edge users can also summon Cortana for assistance and extra info by right-clicking on text selections to find out more.

Another Edge feature is the new-tab page, a remnant from Internet Explorer with a few tweaks. When Edge users open a new tab, the page displays thumbnail icons for the most frequently visited sites. It also allows users to reopen closed tabs and makes many suggestions for apps and videos and facilitates access to weather or latest sports scores.

Edge also provides the option to view pages in a reading mode free of distractions such as images and advertisements. Users can even make annotations, such as highlights and notes, on webpages for sharing or storing as an image. Microsoft’s new browser also comes with coding support and will function the same across all platforms. Until Edge is formally released, users can test it on non-critical PCs by downloading Windows 10 and joining the Windows Insider Program.

Browser Wars: Which Browser Should You Use?

colorful Internet browserby Lino Perna,Technician

Since its public release in 2008, Google Chrome has been taking its place in people’s hearts and minds, replacing the commonly used Internet Explorer.

Ever since then, these two browsers have been at constant war. The public loved the fresh, simplistic, elegance of Chrome which left Internet Explorer in its dust.

Now, after all these updates and changes, which of the two has made the most positive progress? Which browser is better?

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer was the most widely used browser up until 2008. It had the internet navigation world in the palm of its hands, and because of its massive success Microsoft decided not to change anything.

Internet Explorer came standard with every new Microsoft computer, so to the general public, that was the only option. Yes there were other web navigators, but this was the best.

In its current state, Internet Explorer 11 is faster and more efficient than any other previous versions. The security and privacy features are phenomenal and coveted by other browsers.

In a general sense, the interface is usable, but may be too complicated for some users. While it doesn’t have site prediction or voice search, it is still faster and better than ever for everyday tasks.

When Chrome was first released, it had low usage percentage because it was an unknown browser, but at that point, Firefox had become prominent and had passed up Internet Explorer.

Slowly but surely, Chrome became more widely known and used. It took until 2011, but finally overcame the competition and became the most used browser in the world.

Today, Chrome reigns over the other browsers. Its usage surpasses any of the other browsers, but the question is: Why? The reasoning for the era of Chrome is its design.

It’s easy enough for an individual of any age to use. It simultaneously possesses the ability to give you luxuries such as: a drop-down box with thumbnails to easily access your favorite websites or the integration of Gmail and Youtube.

The simplicity of it contributes to the unparalleled speed that it possesses. Speed, efficiency and quality are the necessary staples of success.

Google Chrome possesses all three of these essential attributes that helped it achieve and sustain dominance over its predecessors.

The built in flash player and PDF support put Chrome ahead of the competition because both tools are used quite frequently in both a business and scholastic setting.

Wrapping Up
It all comes down to this: When it comes to efficiency, speed, and quality, Chrome takes the cake.

Its facile interface, outstanding quality, and unmatched speed rocket it past Internet Explorer, and any other browser at that.

Though Internet Explorer may be easier to access, if you want a browser that can do all you ever needed and more, while also being considerably faster than its competition, Google Chrome is the browser for you.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)

Secrets About your Customers Hidden In your Company’s Website Reports

No matter who hosts your website, it’s almost certain that you have website traffic reporting. These reports can tell you a LOT about your customer and who is visiting your web site IF you know how to read them. Here’s a quick less on how to decipher them…

Hits V. Unique Visitors
Its’ been said that “hits” is short for “How Idiots Track Sales.” That’s because “Total Hits” is a deceptive number: it counts every single graphics file, style sheet, and script a visitor pulls for each page. A single visitor on a single page could easily pull a dozen files or more.

The only number you should watch is “unique visitors” or “unique referrers.” This is your best indicator of how many individual people are actually visiting your site.

If your number of unique visitors is extremely low, you’re probably not marketing your website properly; but it could also be a sign of a technical issue. Occasionally a site is so far off the beaten path that it’s never been indexed by the search engines. Sites built in Flash or that use images instead of text are also difficult for search engines to index and, therefore, will get very low rankings and traffic.

Your reports should give you a list of web browsers your clients are using when coming to your site. Most people use a recent version of Internet Explorer, but you may also see Firefox, Safari, or older versions of IE. Bottom line, you need to make sure your site works in all the browsers being used by your visitors.

Exit Page
Have you ever heard the term “website conversion?” It’s a measure of whether a visitor has done what you wanted them to do on your site. A conversion can be a purchase, an enrollment to your company’s e-zine, or a completed “contact us” form.

If the most popular exit pages correspond to your conversion pages, congratulations! If not, take a closer look. Why are people leaving? There may be a technical issue, a bad headline (or no headline), no offer, slow-loading graphics, or confusing copy. Something on this page is making your visitors leave abruptly.

Maybe it’s not clear where they should go next, or how to find out what they need to know. A few departures are expected, but if there’s a trend, you must address it. Experiment with various headlines, offers and designs until you find something more successful.

Keywords and Keyword Phrases
Keywords and keyword phrases are a list of words people type into search engines to find you.

This is very important information to have because it will allow you to further optimize your website to attract customers AND help you when using pay-per-click search engine marketing.

Browse this list regularly. If the words and phrases are not ones aligned with what you sell or whom you sell to, try changing the content on your site to be more targeted and specific.

Check out the error list from time to time to make sure you aren’t experiencing any technical issues. The most frequent error you’ll find is a “404” code, which means “document not found”—also known as broken links.

Broken links are caused by deleted pages, new page names, or links to other sites that may no longer exist. These errors should be corrected to keep your site current.

Another good tip is to have a custom “404” page that shows up instead of the stock standard “file not found” page that contains your company name, phone number, and a way to report the problem. Your web master can set this up for you.