Microsoft this month has released a new set of Windows Tips for Windows 10 users that will notify Chrome and Firefox users that its own Microsoft Edge is safer to use. Apparently, Venture Beat asked Microsoft about this earlier this week, and they were told by a spokesperson that “This wave of Windows Tips for Windows 10 users began in early November.”
If you remember, in July there was a similar Windows Tips release that warned Firefox and Chrome users about battery drain, and then proceeded to recommend that they use Microsoft Edge instead.
This particular tip shows when you open your Firefox or Chrome browser on any Windows 10 device, and tells you that Microsoft Edge blocks more “socially engineered” malware than either browser. And because that’s very difficult to validate if you’re not a software testing expert with all the right tools to check it out, we’ll have to take Microsoft’s word for it.
A Word about Software Updates and Security
For the more curious, Chrome’s latest stable update for desktop was announced on November 9 – version 54.0.2840.99 for Windows, 54.0.2840.98 for Mac, and 54.0.2840.100 on Linux. Firefox 50.0 was offered to Release channel users (desktop) on November 15.
The fact that browsers are the chief internet-facing entities on any device means they need to be updated regularly and religiously to address bugs, safety issues, malware and much more. That’s over and above adding new functionality or removing unwanted ones. Each company meticulously schedules its releases, records them in change logs and publishes release notes. This is mainly to help developers figure out what’s new, what’s been removed, what’s changed and what’s been fixed.
As such, any piece of software ideally comes with a record of what’s in it, and this is critical for you to know. Why? Because it gives you critical information about the software. In general, however, consumers rarely bother reading through release notes before they download or upgrade a piece of software – not a good practice. In fact, many users don’t even both updating to the latest version of a software, under the assumption that “what I have is good enough and isn’t broken, so why fix it.”
That might apply to your car or TV, but since most software today is connected to the internet, it is vital that you always be on the latest public version. You don’t have to download updates specifically meant for developers and testers, but you should at least get on the latest public release – if only for your own safety.
In closing, here’s what President Benjamin Franklin said about security:
“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.”
Even though he said this back in the 18th century – more than 200 years ago – it’s very apt where software and internet security are concerned.
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