Thanksgiving: eat the bounty, hang out with family and update web browsers

Filed Under: Featured, Internet Explorer, Malware

Turkey and IE 6 logoThanksgiving is coming up this weekend in the US. It's a holiday of gluttony and family time, celebrating the end of the summer's harvest.

To coincide with the holiday, The Atlantic have come up with a cute challenge for all of us who will be hanging out at our parents' home: "Update your Parents' Browser Day"

Now we have all heard the plethora of excuses people have for not updating their browsers. They don't like change; they like what they know; it works fine as it is; they are worried about breaking everything, etc.

MY response? ENOUGH EXCUSES!

It is time to stop enabling these users and get tough: If you want to stay on the internet, update your browser. Now, let us look at the worst of the lot - Internet Explorer 6.

IE 6 MUST DIE

It is over 10 years old. That is the middle-ages in web terms. Many web-based companies have stopped supporting it, including the three big boys: Google, Facebook and Youtube.

Even Microsoft has been desperate to kill it off for about a year, with its launch of IE 6 Countdown.

According to the site's world map, almost 8% of the world still use IE 6.

That could be your parents, grandparents, aunts, older siblings - you name it.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 usage_world map

And this is where I take a different view from The Atlantic piece. In it, Alexis Madrigal says:

"A little advice on the browser change. Don't switch brands on them. No putting Chrome instead of Firefox or Internet Explorer. Keep it simple."

I say pah to that. This is your chance to install your favourite browser onto their system. If you like Explorer 8 or 9, then go for it.

(As one reader pointed out, you cannot install IE 9 on Windows XP, but you can visit Microsoft's support page and learn more about the different available versions for your operating system.)

But if you prefer recent releases of Chrome or Firefox, I say this is your chance! Sit them down, explain the reasoning using your finest rhetoric and persuasive tactics. Get the nod and then go in, make the change.

Yes, I urge you to get consent and not go behind their backs. The Atlantic piece make light of this, but it is actually illegal to install software without the owner's consent.

If you are wondering why you are doing this, remember it is the time of year for giving. You will be helping to make the internet a better place and help them from getting hit by something nasty.

Note - a word of warning about add-ons: installing tools like No Script on a novice's Firefox browser and then trying to explain how it works might be a giving step too far.

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3 Responses to Thanksgiving: eat the bounty, hang out with family and update web browsers

  1. IT guy · 879 days ago

    Adblock and forecastfox would be great add ons though for a firefox upgrade. They'll thank you for it :)

  2. Tim O. · 879 days ago

    My Dad is a Firefox freak and he's always trying to prise me away from Chrome. We both have automatic update (of the browser itself) turned on, so always have the latest version. Who will win?
    P.S. My Dad is 78.

  3. gorilla · 878 days ago

    chrome makes money by selling your info, my money is on your dad.

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About the author

Hi. I am a social, brand and communications expert with 10 years in senior roles in the tech space. I'm currently Sophos' s Global Director of Social Media and Communities. Proudest work achievement? Creating and launching award-winning Naked Security. Outside work, I am a mean cook, an avid reader, a chronic insomniac, a podcast obsessive and blogger .