This Friday is "Update your Parents' Browser" day

You read the title correctly and if you are not out decking your neighbors trying to get the last waffle maker for an unbelievably low price this Friday, make sure to update your parents web browser. The Atlantic has put together the idea and Microsoft is helping out with a few helpful hits below. 

The idea is simple, your parents are not tech savvy and need you to keep their machines updated and one simple way to do that is to upgrade their browser. While this will certainly not stop all the tech support phone calls asking you to defrag their monitor or change their RAM fluid, it should help cut out some of the other malware that could infect the PC through the browser. 

But when will you find time to gain access to their PC to update the browser? Microsoft offers 10 moments when you may be able to strike:

10. When they’re manning the fire extinguisher dealing with the yearly deep-fried turkey accident.

9. When they’re telling your cousins “when I was your age” stories.

8. When they’re face down in the eggnog punch.

7. When they’re fighting over the right way to carve a turkey.

6. When your mom kicks you out of the kitchen for peeling potatoes “the wrong way.”

5. When they’re sent to the grocery store at 2PM on Thanksgiving Day for extra cranberries.

4. When they’re sitting at the Adult’s table (rally the other kids to help).

3. When they’re standing in a Black Friday line. 

2. When they’re untangling Christmas lights.

And the number one time to update your parents’ browser is…

1. When they’re distracted by grilling you about when you’re going to get a real job, when you’re going to settle down, and when you’re going to give them grandchildren. 

So there you have it, find time to update your parents browser this holiday season as it could be the best gift they receive and it will cost you nothing and may even save you a few tech support calls. 

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Sadly still need to use IE8 for work. Had to downgrade back to it as program won't work on IE9. Mainly use Chrome though for browsing.

I always update IE to IE9, only for the security. as far as updates go, i turn them off and install them myself as i find almost all my family would blindly click on everything, even toolbar installs. I try to educate all of them about how to avoid the possible crapware that can get installed. I even persist because of the importance of knowing what to click and what not to click. I want the user to become less reliant on thier PC tech for almost everything(basically, to think for themselves)

No, no it really isnt... That was the day you first helped them set that machine up, why wouldn't you set it to automatically update the browser and windows?

What you could possibly do is make sure the rest of the software is up to date as much of it wont be quite as good at doing it automatically but will instead do it only when told to...

A lot of people will sit at an XP machine and 'upgrade' it to Firefox/Chrome/Opera. This is a result of short-sighted naiveté, or the outright refusal to realize that the people using that system associate the internet with IE's icon. Unless you sit them down and explain to them what they've done, they'll either continue using the outdated IE, or (if you've removed its icon) complain that their internet is broken.

This. Is. How. People. Are.

So you're welcome to encourage people to use alternate browsers. But for the love of god, upgrade them to IE9 anyway, JUST IN CASE they continue clicking the big 'e'. Do it for security if nothing else. Take your holy war elsewhere, because I can assure you, they don't give a flying fark about your opinions on HTML5 and standards.

Well..it depends on the generation of parents you are talking about. Parents born before 1950 are the ones that are the least tech savvy.

If you have parents born after 1950. They were the ones that mostly started all this stuff in the first place.

bjoswald said,
Good idea, but I still think browser updates should be automatic and invisible by default.

I couldn't agree more, the End User (on Home Edition versions of Windows) should just turn their Machine on and have the latest version by default. Corporate users obviously have Version Control Procedures to follow so this should be disabled.

Some people are glossing over the fact that even though your parents are using the latest chrome, Firefox, opera, or safari internet explore still needs to be updated. Just because your parents don't use ie doesn't mean the malware or spyware bundled in that smiley program or the free porn viewer your parents use won't use it instead.

Einlander said,
Some people are glossing over the fact that even though your parents are using the latest chrome, Firefox, opera, or safari internet explore still needs to be updated. Just because your parents don't use ie doesn't mean the malware or spyware bundled in that smiley program or the free porn viewer your parents use won't use it instead.

But that's assuming windows update is turned off... There is no reason why it would be (unless the computers run pirate licenses) so not an issue, IE will be updated...

Leonick said,

But that's assuming windows update is turned off... There is no reason why it would be (unless the computers run pirate licenses) so not an issue, IE will be updated...

I know users who would disagree on "run pirate licenses"

My parents need there IE8 for one thing only dare I say this playing farmtown on facebook they claimed it was slower on IE 9 so IE8 it is...

Sylar0 said,
My parents need there IE8 for one thing only dare I say this playing farmtown on facebook they claimed it was slower on IE 9 so IE8 it is...

do you beat your parents? maybe you should...

SPEhosting said,

do you beat your parents? maybe you should...

Lol not its a free world but on their hardware IE is the best browser for there needs.

I put Chrome on my families, most of them enjoy it, others think it is "too simple" and want to know where all there toolbars went................ This makes my head effing throb. My mom always finds a way to get Mozilla back on her computer, and load it down with crappy extensions, and toolbars, then ask me to come fix it. I immediately remove Firefox, point to Chrome, and leave, and plan on being back a week later to redo the process.
Happy damn Holidays, -_-

not sure if serious <edit> topic...... </edit>

on a side note, nothing to update here....my folks are plenty happy with chrome. (I touch them on the a** with my lightsaber if they use anything else....that usually changes their minds...j/k)

If I had upgraded my dad's browser from IE7 to IE9, he will require at least 5 business days of hand-on training, plus an additional 5 business days for me to write him a user manual. No way.

donkeyman said,
If I had upgraded my dad's browser from IE7 to IE9, he will require at least 5 business days of hand-on training, plus an additional 5 business days for me to write him a user manual. No way.

My parents is still way back on Firefox 3.6 for the same reason. Way too many UI changes to make it an easy transition for them to Firefox 8. Also I have to check and see if this one addon is still working with Firefox 8 as I had to have it there ever since Firefox pulled the email button from the browser.

shinji257 said,

My parents is still way back on Firefox 3.6 for the same reason. Way too many UI changes to make it an easy transition for them to Firefox 8. Also I have to check and see if this one addon is still working with Firefox 8 as I had to have it there ever since Firefox pulled the email button from the browser.


its just 2 clicks to change FF's new look back to 3.6, rightclick the top, put tabs on bottom. oh and show menu. done

well thats just agest :<. I am allways updating my KID'S computers and installing updated files etc. may be it should be MICROSOFT update your browser day?

Is this really a problem? Both of my parents laptops always seem to have the latest version of the Browser they use anyways and I wouldn't call them tech-savvy.

Glorious said,
Is this really a problem? Both of my parents laptops always seem to have the latest version of the Browser they use anyways and I wouldn't call them tech-savvy.

It is a very big problem, most parents just do the following things on their machine:
Check email, browse the web, photos and pay bills.

Other things to the non tech savvy parents are things they can do later which can and normally never do come.

So as their Technical Advisor it would be advisable for us to enrich their computer with regular updates to assist them so their occasional computer time is safe, updated and enjoyable.

ITOps said,

It is a very big problem, most parents just do the following things on their machine:
Check email, browse the web, photos and pay bills.

Other things to the non tech savvy parents are things they can do later which can and normally never do come.

So as their Technical Advisor it would be advisable for us to enrich their computer with regular updates to assist them so their occasional computer time is safe, updated and enjoyable.

Perhaps my parents just happen to be the type who would read the update prompts then? Last week I was helping my Mother find her way round the new look on Gmail and I am 99% certain she has the latest version of Firefox 8. Odd, perhaps the problem is more in the way Internet Explorer updates are pushed out.

Glorious said,

Perhaps my parents just happen to be the type who would read the update prompts then?


Then your parents are to be found in the -1/10 people in the world. Because in my entire family NONE, including siblings, have their browser updated (except for Google Chrome, which does it automatically)

Glorious said,

Perhaps my parents just happen to be the type who would read the update prompts then? Last week I was helping my Mother find her way round the new look on Gmail and I am 99% certain she has the latest version of Firefox 8. Odd, perhaps the problem is more in the way Internet Explorer updates are pushed out.

As long as we are checking that they are checking then things should be good.

Jose_49 said,

Then your parents are to be found in the -1/10 people in the world. Because in my entire family NONE, including siblings, have their browser updated (except for Google Chrome, which does it automatically)

you do know IE updates automatically with windows update (security fixes etc, not entire version numbers).
maybe you and those other tech savvy ppl should at least explain ppl to update their OS ;s

Tom said,
I've updated almost all my family with Opera.

I've still updated IE to version 9, even if they don't use it. Everyone else uses Firefox or Chrome, I don't force them to use either.

Tony. said,

I've still updated IE to version 9, even if they don't use it. Everyone else uses Firefox or Chrome, I don't force them to use either.

i change everyones browser to IE9.. when people invite me over to dinner parties i excuse myself to the bathroom and change their computer settings !

IE9 FTW!

Lachlan said,

i change everyones browser to IE9.. when people invite me over to dinner parties i excuse myself to the bathroom and change their computer settings !

IE9 FTW!


ie9 ftw? for the worse?

my mother is constantly asking "i want the mozillia"

and my father is like "put some chess in there and teach me how to get around with it"

Lachlan said,

i change everyones browser to IE9.. when people invite me over to dinner parties i excuse myself to the bathroom and change their computer settings !

IE9 FTW!

Yeah I guess that's one way to get people to use IE.