Josh Holst

Jun 05 2014

Why You Should Keep Your Browser and Operating System Updated


Upgrade browsers and operating system.

You know the little pop-up notifications you get on your computer stating 50 updates are ready for download, which often requires a reboot of your computer? If you’re like several of my family and friends, you probably ignore these updates, but I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t.

Having Security Software is Not Enough

“Wait, IT Guy, didn’t you just tell me I need security software if my PC is connected to the Internet? I got a new anti-virus/anti-malware protection, shouldn’t that be enough?” Sadly, it’s not enough and here’s why. My security software post was geared around the “anti“ software (anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-badguy). Software updates can be time consuming and occur frequently, but are necessary. Anytime your browser or operating system can be updated, you should do it. Software vendors do the best job they can when releasing software to be downloaded or purchased. Most have very thorough quality assurance testing, but it’s not until the software reaches our computers that issues may arise. Why is this? Because no single computer or user is identical to another.

Technology Changes Requiring Updates to Browsers and Operating Systems

Software vendors retire products. Did you have a chance to read our blog post titled “Microsoft Discontinues Support of Windows XP and Office 2003” by our First Vice President of Security, Jay Allpress? Windows XP was retired earlier this year after 12+ years of service. Why did Windows retire XP? Because the way we interact with our PCs has changed and so did the operating system. While some still run Windows XP, security issues are still being found, but will no longer be fixed by Microsoft. All vendors do the same thing by retiring older products.

This is the same for internet browsers. If you think about how you use your computer now, most of what you do is online. Browsers require updates and some even get retired.

Microsoft Has Ended Support of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8); If You Use IE8, Hills Bank Suggests You Upgrade to a Newer Version

One of the most notable internet browsers no longer being supported is Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). This means that Hills Bank Online will have limited functionality with IE8, meaning as new features and functions are developed for Hills Bank Online, some things may not work with IE8. Why is that? Because we can’t function securely with software that is retired or no longer supported.

Computer security is important to Hills Bank and me. We are committed to ensuring our software and systems are secure from the latest security threats or software bugs. We ask you do what you can to help keep your computer secure by using supported software and keeping your anti-virus and anti-malware up-to-date.

For your convenience, we’ve included these links to Hills Bank Online supported browsers.

If you have questions for me, the “IT Guy”, share them in the comments below. I’d be glad to answer them and possibly create upcoming posts around your questions!

Josh Holst

About Josh Holst

Josh Holst is Vice President of Information Systems at Hills Bank’s Operation Center in Hills, IA. He has been at Hills Bank since 2002 working with systems and network administration, with a focus on customer service, security, business continuity, compliance, and operations. Josh can be reached at ITguy@hillsbank.com.


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5 Responses to Why You Should Keep Your Browser and Operating System Updated

  1. RB Nielsen says:

    the msg about “IE8″ assumes everyone knows what that means. You will do much better explaining in the msg that the issue concerns the “Microsoft’s browser Internet Explorer, version 8″ Your assumption that people will automatically seek more info by selecting the hot button is also flawed thinking. C’mon people, do a better job of communicating and THINK about the public you are supposed to be serving.

    • Josh Holst Josh Holst says:

      Thank you for your feedback. You are correct stating IE8 instead of Microsoft’s browser Internet Explorer, version 8 could cause some questions. We will keep your comments in mind for future posts to ensure we are providing a clear message. Thanks for being an active reader of Hills Helps!

  2. Josh Holst Josh Holst says:

    I’ve received a handful of questions regarding how to tell what version of Internet Explorer you are using. If you follow these steps, you will be able determine what version of Internet Explorer you currently have:

    • Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.
    • Tap or click the Tools button Tools Button (or tap or click Help in the menu bar), and then tap or click About Internet Explorer.
  3. Jim and Margaret Hennes says:

    Mine says Internet Explorer 11. Do I need to do something?

    • Josh Holst Josh Holst says:

      If you have Internet Explorer 11, you are updated and Hills Bank Online should not have limited functionality for you. Thanks Jim and Margaret Hennes for taking the time to research your Internet Browser version and reading Hills Helps!

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