Plugging the Holes in Internet Browsers

Everyone knows that you should use antivirus software to protect your computer, but did you know that your internet browser may be letting viruses and malware infect your system anyway?

Whether you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or even Google Chrome, there will be vulnerabilities in your browser.  It is important to keep your software up to date with the latest security patches and updates.

  • To keep Internet Explorer up to date, use the Windows Update program that is built into windows.  Click START–ALL PROGRAMS–WINDOWS UPDATE to manually check for updates.
  • Mozilla Firefox will automatically notify you of any important security updates and makes it easy to stay current.  To manually check for updates, click HELP–CHECK FOR UPDATES from the Firefox window.
  • Google Chrome is easy to update as well.  Just click the “wrench” icon and choose ABOUT GOOGLE CHROME.  At the bottom, you will see a message that states “Checking for Updates”.  If an update is found, it will notify you.

Simply updating your web browser is not enough.  Any of the programs or “Add-Ons” you have installed inside your browser also need to be updated.  Recently, some very popular Add-On applications like Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash have created vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

  • To check for updates for Add-Ons in Mozilla Firefox, click on TOOLS–ADD-ONS.  Click the FIND UPDATES button.
  • Unfortunately, Internet Explorer makes it a little harder to update the Add-Ons.  Click TOOLS–MANAGE ADD-ONS.  This will list all of the Add-Ons that are installed.  Make a note of each one.  Open the following website and search for each add-on:
  • Updating Add-Ons, or Extensions in Google Chrome is fairly easy and straightforward.  Click the “Wrench” icon in the top right-hand corner, then click EXTENSIONS.  Click the “Plus” sign next to the header DEVELOPER TOOLS.  Now click the UPDATE EXTENSIONS NOW button.

Remember, updating the security of your computer is a never-ending process.  By making sure the things you use the most are updated, you should be relatively safe.


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