Jargon Buster Part 1: Browsers and Plugins

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Computer jargon can be complicated and make understanding exactly what’s happening with your computer difficult. In this blog we seek to explain some common PC processes and jargon.

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Perhaps you’re not the most computer literate, perhaps you read our blogs or other online resources and have no idea what we’re on about, maybe you just aren’t down with our trendy techno lingo and that’s fine: in fact, you are probably in the majority.

In this series of blogs we’re going to try to explain some common computer terms in what is hopefully an easy to understand manner. Today we’re tackling browsers.


Browsers


Your browser is the primary way you’ll interact with the internet beyond your computer: it’s literally your door to the world wide web.

And just like a door if it’s isn’t properly locked and secured things that you don’t want to get into your computer could potentially get in.

That’s why it is crucial to have your browser of choice fully updated at all times, particularly if you are going to be shopping or banking online. Below are guides on how to update five of the most common browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Safari on macOS.

If you use Google Chrome, click here.

If Mozilla Firefox if your browser of choice, click here.

If you still use Microsoft Internet Explorer, click here.

Upgraded to Microsoft Edge? Click here.

Last but not least, if you’re using Safari, click here.

Frequently we see malware attacks that target a weakness or vulnerability in a browser rather than in and operating system or OS (Windows, Mac, or Linux for example). The dangerous thing about this is that everyone using that browser could fall victim, sometimes regardless of their OS.


Plugins


Plugins, add-ons, or extensions can vastly enhance your browsers usability, features, or even a specific website.

However, they can also track your activities online if you accidently download a rogue extension or one installs itself on your browser.

Sufficed to say that every now and then checking which extensions are active is a good thing: there might be one you don’t use anymore or one you don’t recognise at all.

The following links are guides on how to enable/disable plugins, extensions and add-ons on five popular browsers.

For Google Chrome, click here.

For Mozilla Firefox, click here.

Microsoft Internet Explorer, click here.

Microsoft Edge, click here.

Safari, click here.


Bonus tip: Click-to-play


Now that your browser and extensions are all up-to-date and secure you’re ready to explorer the web in relative safety.

Of course there are other ways to protect yourself as you browse, and one such way is enabling “click-to-play” on your browser.

“Click-to-play” makes it so that internet video, ads and other content which run using Adobe Flash Player don’t automatically load and play as soon as you load a webpage.

It’s a good thing to enable because unfortunately Adobe Flash Player is riddled with weaknesses, bugs and potential exploits that someone could use to infect your PC with malware.

This guide on howtogeek.com shows you how to enable this feature on a few of the more popular browsers.


Have you found this guide useful? What would you like to see a “Jargon Buster” blog about?


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