How to Tame Your Browser

When it comes to the Internet, your browser can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. With inherently dynamic content, evolving HTML standards, relentless exploitation of security flaws, and whims of the ever-clever developers, the browser software and plugins we rely on have a lot on their plates. When something inevitably goes awry with your frenemy, where will you turn? Here is some advice to keep your browser relationship healthy.

Be Flexible

Sure we all have our favorite, but when your browser lets you down and puts a damper on productivity, make sure you have another browser handy to help console you. There are a couple things you can do to make using your second choice more comfortable.

  • Keep an open mind.  At the surface, most browsers really are alike. Changing browsers is a bit like driving a rental car – perhaps a little uncomfortable, but not altogether unfamiliar. You’ll find a search bar, navigation buttons, refresh or reload feature, and bookmarks or favorites.
  • Make it personal. To enhance your experience further, import your bookmarks and preferences. If you make the effort to personalize another browser ahead of time, then you won’t beat yourself up trying to find a favorite site or worse, trying to remember the passwords you saved in your go-to browser.
Be Supportive

With a little understanding, you may be able to prevent you and your browser from having a major meltdown.

  • Clear your cache or browsing history if you’re feeling bogged down. Sometimes your browser may have trouble letting things go, and the very feature that is designed to make your experience more pleasant can make it more frustrating. In other words, it is holding onto unnecessary data that may cause trouble loading pages or difficulty logging into sites. You can help overcome the difficulty by clearing the cache and browsing settings. Tip: Try Cmd-Shift-Delete on your Mac or Ctrl-Shift-Delete on your PC to access browser settings.
  • Update your plugins to keep running smoothly. If your multimedia content is not cooperating, then an outdated plugin may be to blame. Plugins, add-ons, and extensions are software components that add excitement to your browsing relationship by serving up videos, games, and the like. So when an update message pops up for Adobe or Java, for example, do not ignore them. Vendors release updates to, well, keep up to date with the demands of the latest content. Missing a critical update may leave you facing the cold shoulder!
  • Upgrade to the latest version of your browser. As technology evolves, so do browsers. It is best to accept the changes your browsers are going through and upgrade to the newest version. This will ensure that you are getting the best viewing experience.
Seek Help

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help!  If you’re experiencing an issue, then you are probably not alone. Many problems can be solved with a quick visit to the help section where you will find answers to common issues, software updates, as well as tutorials to help you customize your viewing experience.


By Stephanie Doty
Technology Integration Coordinator
Hopkins School

 

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