Upgrade Old Browsers for TLS Goodness

If you have a really old web browser, you really need to upgrade for many reasons, including security and privacy. This week you have one more compelling reason: retaining the ability to shop online.

A Brief History of TLS

When your web browser talks to a website like Amazon.com, the conversation is encrypted – so that none of the routers, internet service providers, or bad guys snooping around the network can see what you’re saying. When you whip out that credit card to buy something online, you don’t want anyone else to get your credit card number, expiration date, or security code. The technology that makes that happen is call Transport Layer Security, or TLS.

The group that dictates minimum security requirements for only shopping by credit card has raised the bar on TLS support. As of June 30, the PCI Council will be requiring browsers to support Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.2. The previous versions are old and are defective. Version 1.0 came out almost 20 years ago. Version 1.1 is 12 years old. It’s time for them to go.

Update Those Old Browsers

What does this mean to you? It means that if you have a really old browser – one that doesn’t support TLS version 1.2 – then you will no longer be able to do online shopping using a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, and some others). At least not after June 30, 2018. TLS 1.2 has been around for ten years now. In fact, TLS 1.3 was just approved this year (and it has great new security features).

If you have just about any recent version of a popular web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer), then you should be fine. As an added bonus, most modern browsers have built-in update mechanisms to make sure you always have the latest and greatest security fixes and features.

Personally, Firefox is my weapon of choice. You can read my analysis here and find links to download an up-to-date, super-secure browser for your eShopping needs!

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