Internet Explorer is dead – Here are 10 more obsolete tech devices you should remove
It was the end of an era when Microsoft finally ditched Internet Explorer last week. After 11 versions and almost 27 years, the tech giant pulled the plug on the internet browser in favor of Microsoft Edge.
Internet Explorer was the default web browser for millions throughout the late 90s, peaking around 2003. Then came Google’s Chrome in 2008 and slowly but surely broke down until it became the market leader.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: If you’re still using Internet Explorer, stop. It’s just not safe. Tap or click here for our favorite browser picks if you’re thinking about privacy.
It’s not just IE that you should avoid. Read on for 10 more obsolete devices and programs to avoid.
Before we get to the list, a note about IE
Internet Explorer will be officially discontinued on June 15, 2022. That means you can no longer download the browser, Microsoft won’t release updates for it, and you really need to switch to another browser.
in his retirement blog, Microsoft explains what we all know: The browser just couldn’t keep up with the constant changes in the way the Internet works. Microsoft’s replacement is, of course, Microsoft Edge. It is built on Chromium, the same back-end as Google Chrome, and is designed to perform well on a PC.
We trust you’re saying goodbye to Internet Explorer — or that you did a long time ago — but there are more gadgets out there that you should replace. Any internet-connected device that hasn’t been updated in the last 12 months can put your personal information at serious risk. If you still have any of the technology or gadgets listed below, it’s time to say goodbye.
1. First Generation Amazon Echo
As technology improves, so do the skills of hackers. Unfortunately, older smart devices just can’t handle the software upgrades to make them more secure. The first Amazon Echo smart speaker is a good example of this. Hackers can take over by exploiting a pre-existing vulnerability, a recent study shows. We are talking about the tall cylindrical model that came in white and black. If you have one, stop using it.
Want to replace your old Echo? The fourth-generation Echo Dot is a solid smart speaker upgrade at around $50 full price. Sometimes you can buy it on sale for a lot less.
2. Google Nest Hello video doorbell
An early version of Google’s popular video doorbell is not safe to use. A study found that hackers can easily launch a Denial of Service attack and disable the recording feature. Yaks. Just imagine what this means: With the right know-how, someone could stop recording your camera while you’re gone and waltz in through the front door without you even knowing it.
Need a replacement? Tap or click for five safe options for monitoring the porch.
3. Amazon’s Cloud Cam Security Camera
If you have an Amazon Cloud Cam, it’s time to go shopping. The camera is no longer for sale and after December 2, 2022, all recordings will be deleted and Amazon cameras will no longer work. Why? Amazon focuses on the Ring and Blink brands for home security.
When it comes to home security, Kim’s pick is: SimpiSafe† You can buy everything you need online and easily set it up yourself, no drill or handyman needed. Even better, if you shop now, you can a free security camera, 20% off your order and your first month free when you sign up for Interactive Monitoring†
4. Wemo Insight smart plug
In the same study as the Google Nest Hello, researchers were able to break the security of this smart plug. What’s the problem, you ask? It’s not just about the plug itself – it means hackers can take full control of any device plugged into it, including any unsecured video and audio recording capabilities.
Here are some of our favorite smart plugs (scroll to the bottom of the article), along with a few smart uses that go beyond just turning the lights on and off.
Remember: never use an indoor smart plug outdoors. You need one that is suitable for all-weather use or you are asking for trouble. Tap or click for an outer plug option that checks all the boxes.
5. WyzeCam First Generation Security Camera
Wyze Labs ended all support for its first-generation WyzeCam security camera in February. The camera was first released in 2017 and cost only about $20. We bet these affordable cameras have made it to many homes.
Now Wyze Labs “discourages its use” because there are no more security updates. Don’t take any chances when it comes to security monitoring.
6. Your old router
Just because something works doesn’t mean you should keep using it. Take your router for example. Sure, it can work just fine when it comes to your home’s internet connection, but how secure is it?
The latest security standard is WPA-3, released in 2018. If you’re still using a router that uses WPA-2 encryption, it’s time to switch. A nice bonus: Most new routers support Wi-Fi 6. Your devices may not be using it yet, but they will soon. Think of this as future proof.
Not sure where to start when it comes to router shopping? We can help. Take this 60 second quiz to find the right model based on your home and needs.
7. Your old mobile
That old (in tech years) iPhone 5 can still make calls, but it’s not very good at protecting your data. When Apple rolled out iOS 15, support for iPhone 5 and older models was discontinued. Without the latest operating system, your phone is vulnerable to new hacks, bugs or vulnerabilities.
Even more bad news: When iOS 16 is released this fall, more phones will end up on the chopping block. The update is for iPhone 8 and above. Sorry if you have the first generation SE, 6S, 6S Plus, 7 or 7 Plus.
Apple isn’t alone in cutting support for older phones. Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL will no longer have access to new updates in October.
No matter what kind of phone you have, an easy way to check how long it’s supported is a quick Google search. Type the name of your phone along with “security support” to see how long you will get new features and security patches.
8. Outdated Surge Protectors
Some devices operate much longer than their intended shelf life. Think of surge protectors and socket extenders. Over the years, the amount of power they can handle has dropped and that can cause a fire if you plug in too much. Faulty surge protectors can also ruin your gadgets when there is a power surge.
It’s time to replace those old metal surge protectors or others with a coaxial connection. They are just too old. A good rule of thumb is to replace surge protectors every five years. If you notice even one burnt plug, throw the whole thing away.
If you’re looking to upgrade, we’ve put together a guide to the best surge protectors and outlet extenders, starting under $20.
9. That Old Hard Drive
Think of everything stored on your computer’s hard drive. You probably have years worth of files, photos, videos, you name it. If you’re still using a spinning disk for storage, chances are it’s nearing the end of its life. You have to do two things:
Transfer your data to a new SSD drive while you still can. Make a digital backup of everything. Kim’s choice for safe, secure cloud storage is IDrive. Now save 50% on 5 TB of storage. You can access your files from any device.
10. Your old cordless phone
Unless you work in a museum of technological antiquities, it’s time to give up your old cordless phones that operate on the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHzx bands. They are notorious for causing interference with Wi-Fi signals. If your internet is working, this could be the culprit. Try upgrading to a phone that runs on the 1.9GHz band instead.
Adjust these settings on the Google Nest Hello video doorbell
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