The Death of Internet Explorer

Ditch Internet Explorer

 

If you haven’t quit Internet Explorer yet, here are 3 reasons to ditch it for good.

Microsoft has been phasing out versions of Internet Explorer (IE) for years; many versions of IE are no longer supported by the company. In fact, IE 10 will reach end of support on January 31, 2020 and Microsoft recommends using its new browser Microsoft Edge as your default windows browser.

“So why do so many people still use Internet Explorer?” you ask.

It is a common misconception that IE is a still widely used browser. In 2015, about 12% of the browser market was using IE. Today, only about 3% of users are hanging onto IE according to StatCounter.

At Armada we still have clients asking for websites to be compatible with their old versions of IE. Here are three reasons why that is nearly impossible (from a development standpoint) and why using IE could leave your online data unprotected.

1.) It is a security risk.

In early 2019, Microsoft’s own Worldwide Lead for Cybersecurity, Chris Jackson, urged individuals to stop using Internet Explorer.

Older versions of IE have outdated software and security risks. Hackers target browsers with reduced or nonexistent security measures which makes continuing to use IE for web browsing, shopping, banking, and filling out online forms a serious risk for all that data being stored in your browser. A computer connected to the Internet through an outdated version of IE is vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals.

Some businesses have continued to use IE because specific company software or website portals are dependent on its underlying infrastructure. But forcing an entire company to remain exclusively on an outdated browser for a single application use is a unsafe mistake.

“We want you to use IE for the sites that need it – what I’m trying to say here is that I hope you don’t use it for everything else,” Jackson commented in a blog post.

2.) New websites don’t jive with old IE

Both the Internet and website design platforms are continually and rapidly changing. Content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, have changed the way most websites are built. CMS platforms are constantly releasing updates to patch vulnerabilities and add functionality. Responsive design, rotating banners, sticky headers, mobile menus are all features that were unheard of not that long ago and that are common practice on websites today.

Web design and development is a core service Armada provides to our clients and we keep our new sites updated and in line with current web development trends. Often these new features act strange or do not display properly in IE. New technology may not be understood by older versions of IE and it can be nearly impossible to troubleshoot.

If you are still using IE, you are probably experiencing problems on many sites you browse online. When you upgrade to a new browser your web surfing experience will be MUCH improved.

Almost all U.S. web development firms (Armada included) no longer offer support or guarantee site appearance or functionality in IE. If your website is behaving oddly in IE, take a look at it in another browser. We test and maintain functionally for the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

3.) There are FREE alternatives that are safer, faster, and better.

Google Chrome overtook Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular web browser in 2016 and continues to rise in market share. This browser has fast performance and is infinitely expandable. You can download Google Chrome here.

Firefox is currently ranked #1 by Tech Radar as a best browser for speed and security. You can download FireFox here.

Microsoft Edge is the default browser on Windows 10. It is very fast and a much more secure than its predecessor Internet Explorer. If you are using a Window 10 operating system, Microsoft Edge should already be installed on your computer.

For your security and a better online experience start using Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari (for Apple devices), Microsoft Edge, or Opera as your web browser. Your data security and web browsing experience will be much improved if you do!

AND if you want an updated website for your company with updated security features, responsive design and the latest functionality to go with your faster, more secure browser give Armada a call at 303-623-1190!

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Is my website GDPR compliant? Does it need to be?

GDPR Compliance

Today is May 25th and for many web developers this day has been looming… because it is GDPR compliance day!

Wait… what?

What is GDPR compliance?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU) law that went into effect today, May 25, 2018. This law is designed to give EU citizens control over their personal data used and stored by websites/organizations across the world. In order to comply, companies now have to give EU users the option to control their data privacy settings or opt out or delete their personal data. If companies fail to comply they may face hefty penalties.

How hefty are the penalties?

If a company is not in compliance with the GDPR’s requirements they can face large fines up to 4% of a companies annual global revenue OR €20 million (whichever is greater). Cue eye-widening panic in everyone that has a website!!!

EU authorities have the ability to enforce these penalties via international law, especially against US-based businesses that have a physical presence in the EU.

But fear not, you will not automatically be penalized as of May 25 if your website is not in compliance. Furthermore, this only pertains to businesses that see site traffic from IPs located in the EU.

If your site is receiving EU traffic and you are caught without proper data privacy compliance your site will first be issued a warning, then a reprimand, then a suspension of data processing. If you continue to violate the law, only after that will you be hit with the large fine.

Since this law is over 200 pages long and consists of data subject rights such as; breach notification, consent, rights to be forgotten, etc – it will be very difficult for all websites to be in compliance by the time this law goes into effect (which is today). And due to the dynamic nature of websites, no single platform, plugin, or solution can offer 100% GDPR compliance. The GDPR compliance process will vary based on the type of website you have, and what data you store and how you process data on your site.

Does my website need to be GDPR compliant?

Short answer. Yes.

Long answer. Maybe… it depends on your business and website traffic.

GDPR was created by the European Union to protect its citizens, and so it only affects organizations with some kind of relationship with the EU or its people. Your site will be affected if any of the following apply:

  • you are established in the EU (or somewhere else subject to EU law), or
  • you offer goods or services to individuals in the EU, or
  • you monitor the behavior of individuals in the EU (meaning you get and track site traffic from the EU).

There is no need to worry about the nationality of website visitors residing in the US, this pertains only to visitors residing in the EU. If they are EU citizens and they are in the US this does not pertain to that users activity on your site.

If you don’t do business with or market to EU citizens your can relax a bit. Whew… however most of GDPR’s rules are good practice and applying them to your website will show your customers that you take data security seriously, and that puts your site in a good position should similar legislation ever be enacted in the US.

So how do I make my site GDPR compliant?

It is nearly impossible to share all the possible ways that your website data could be in violation. But some good rules of thumb are updating your website privacy policy, including an opt-in to data storage on any forms on your site, altering your customers that you are using cookies (or other tracking pixels), adding a “right to be forgotten” (a way for users to delete their user information) and turning off demographic collection in Google Analytics used on the site.

At Armada we build most of our client’s sites in WordPress (the latest version of which is now compliant with GDPR) and you can find more information about WordPress Plugins that can help bring your site up to compliance standards here.

If you are a current or former client of ours, speak to us about the need and strategy to for your site to become GDPR compliant. If you are not a client and are starting to panic a little, give us a call and we will be happy to help you get it figured out.

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