By Neal F. Fischer, Director of Communications

Over the last month or so, I’ve fielded a few calls about issues, for some, with the synod website. Here is what my research has shown.

In each case, the issues have arisen from operating systems and browsers that are no longer supported by Microsoft.

Microsoft ended mainstream support of Windows XP in April of 2009, Windows Vista in April of 2012 and Windows 7 in January of 2015. There are still some security updates for Windows 7 until 2020. Usually, Microsoft supports an operating system for five years. Then, it may offer some security patches for another couple of years. If you are still using Windows XP or Vista, your computer is likely not secure while connected to the internet.

The only supported version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, as of January 2016, is Internet Explorer 11. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

What does this mean?
Microsoft no longer provides security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer. Unpatched versions may be exploited by malware, ransomware, and other vulnerabilities opening your data to malicious attacks. Microsoft is moving to a new browser called Microsoft Edge as of Windows 10.

According to the website’s analytics, less than 11% of visits are made by some version of Internet Explorer. Some alternative browsers include Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Moving forward
The upgrades to the website a little over a year ago have proven fruitful. Since upgrading the website’s infrastructure, and making it mobile-friendly, We’ve more than doubled visits to the website. Much of that growth, a little over 40 percent, has come from devices (phones and tablets). As time continues, visits from devices are continuing to grow, hence the need for a mobile-friendly website and infrastructure.

I hope this explanation is helpful.

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