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Loss of Support Updates: Flash Player & IE (What You Need to Know)

If you’ve been around the internet for a while, you most likely remember the heyday of both Adobe Flash and Internet Explorer.

In the early 2000s, these were two of the major players. IE being the most popular browser before it had so much competition, and Flash adding multimedia to multiple websites.

But, as it does, time and technology move on and over the last decade or so, both tools have been marginalized and left behind by newer technologies like HTML5, Chrome, and Edge.

Both tools are losing support in the very near future. They’ve reached a stage now where keeping either on your business computers can cause all sorts of problems for network security as well as business productivity.

Part of how GEEK911 helps Silicon Valley area businesses with efficient IT is ensuring all their software is up to date, so they’re not left vulnerable when a tool becomes outdated.

We’ll go through all the details on both IE and Flash below, so you can prepare your business and workflows.

End of the Road for Adobe Flash

As of December 31, 2020, Adobe will no longer support the Flash Player. This means that it will not receive vital security patches or updates.

When a software reaches end of life (EOL), it’s dangerous for a company to keep that component on its devices because it will no longer have vulnerabilities patched.

Hackers exploited unpatched system vulnerabilities in 60% of the data breaches of 2019.

Companies should check all business devices for the Flash Player browser plugin. You may need to check in more than one browser. It should be completely removed from the device.

There is one more date that you should be aware of if you happen to be using any Flash components on your website. As of January 12, 2021, Adobe will block Flash content from running in Flash Player.

This means your site could potentially have “broken” areas if you are using any Flash for animations or interactions. Flash in any form should be completely removed from your web server and site. 

Major Apps Ending Support for IE 11

Internet Explorer 11 isn’t yet at end of life and will continue to receive security patch updates as long as the operating system upon which it is installed. So, for Windows 10 users this is expected to be until sometime in 2025

However, so many major apps have or are dropping support for IE 11 in the near future that the browser might as well be finished for most purposes.

Here is a rundown of the dates you need to know:

November 30, 2020 – MS Teams No Longer Supports IE 11

Microsoft Teams has already dropped support for IE, which means users may either not be able to access Teams at all in the browser or may receive a degraded experience. 

“Degraded experience” is explained as one or more of the following:

  • New features will not be available
  • Features that used to work will no longer work

March 15, 2021 – Gmail and Google Workspace Apps Drop Support for IE 11

In March of next year, Google’s Workspace Apps like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Meet, and others will no longer be accessible in Internet Explorer.

Google is going to begin warning users with a banner explaining they need to upgrade their browser by 3/15/2021.

August 17, 2021 – Microsoft 365 Apps Drop Support for IE 11

In August of 2021, the rest of the Microsoft 365 family of apps will stop supporting access in Internet Explorer. This includes Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and all the others.

Microsoft states that, just like Teams, users will either no longer be able to access the applications at all or may have a degraded experience.

What Browser Should You Update to?

If your business uses IE 11 on any devices, you’ll want to upgrade to a supported browser to ensure any business apps you use will be accessible.

Browser options include:

  • Microsoft Edge (Chromium Version): Edge offers an IE Mode, which will allow you to view any legacy IE sites in the Edge browser.
  • Chrome: The most popular browser by market share. It tends to be memory intensive.
  • Firefox: Known for good privacy settings. Not fully supported for Teams.
  • Safari: Good for Mac users, but not supported on Windows. Not fully supported for Teams.

Remember when updating, to migrate all settings like bookmarks, saved passwords, etc. so you don’t end up having to have all those entered again in the new browser.

It’s also a good idea to check out the cloud applications you use in your business workflows and look at their supported browsers, which can help you narrow down your options.

Need Help With Expert Business IT Solutions?

From managing your network security to migrating your data, GEEK911 experts work to make your life easier by keeping your IT running smoothly!

Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 1-866-433-5411 or reach us online.

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