Supported Web Browsers for ESC Webpages
As of December 28, 2016, the public website, www.esc.edu, requires the use of a secure connection using Transport Layer Security (TLS) or HTTPS. This update will stop users with very old browsers from being able to connect. In light of this, we decided an official statement of what browsers we recommend and support should be made.
University Owned Computers
University computers are centrally managed to have the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox ESR browser installed and it's use is highly recommended. Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) is a version of Firefox designed for more standard deployments and upgrades for organizations. The current version is 60+. While the version does lag the general release version of Firefox for more stabalized installations, it does receive the latest security updates.
Recommended Web Browsers
(Versions as of 11/23/2018)
- Google Chrome (Current version 70 or newer) - Available for Mac OS X (10.9+) and Windows (7+)
- Mozilla Firefox (Current version 63 or newer) - Available for Mac OS X (10.9+) and Windows (XP SP2+)
- Opera Browser (Current version 55 or newer) - Available for Mac OS X (10.9+) and Windows (7+)
- Microsoft Edge (Current version 18 or newer) - Windows 10 only (Included)
- Apple Safari (Current version 12 or newer) - Mac OS X (10.12+) only (Included)
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 - Windows 7+ (Included)
One of the reasons for updating our website to use secure TLS connections is to improve security. The first three browsers above, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera Browser all have auto-updating capabilities that will keep them up-to-date with the latest security patches to help protect users. However, we recognize that not all users are able to upgrade their operating systems or install new browsers, so we include Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari. If you must use Internet Explorer, it is an option for Windows 7 and 8--it is no longer being updated by Microsoft, except for security updates. Therefore we do not recommend it's use unless it is the only option.
However, many users are still using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 and may be still using Internet Explorer version 8, 9 or 10. If you are, we encourage you to upgrade to at least Internet Explorer version 11 as soon as possible. Ideally, if you can't upgrade your operating system, we recommend switching to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for a more secure and modern web browser experience.
The browsers listed above all support the latest secure encryption protocols that the website will be using (TLS 1.2). If you are using Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10, it is possible to enable these more secure protocols (TLS 1.2) by checking the appropriate boxes at the bottom of Tools / Internet Options / Advanced. Internet Explorer version 7 does not support TLS 1.1 or 1.2. These protocols are enabled by Group Policy on university owned computers.
As of November 2018, we are only supporting TLS 1.2 capable browsers. Unless TLS support is enabled in Internet Explorer, these browsers will no longer be able to access our website.
How to Enable TLS Support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 & 10
Follow the steps below to enable TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and TLS 1.2:
- Open Internet Explorer
- Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options
- Click the Advanced tab.
- Under Security section and check "Use TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and TLS 1.2"
Why Are We Switching to a Secure Website?
- Using secure connections encrypts the connection between you and a website. Encryption provides protection from unwanted viewing by others somewhere in-between.
- We will be using an Extended Validation (EV) Certificate which will clearly indicate you are connecting to SUNY Empire State College.
- Using TLS technology improves privacy for any transactions on the website. While we don't accept monetary transactions on the main website, we do provide forms for visitors to submit questions to faculty and staff. Encryption provides privacy protection for those communications.
- Secure websites help protect against phishing attacks--where a third-party tries to make you think you are on one website, when you are really on theirs, with the potential of them capturing private information intended for the real website. Secure websites, especially those using Extended Validation, have proven their identity to a certificate agency, and by the use of an identity certificate, you can confirm that information.
- By displaying our full name (not just our domain name, esc.edu) in the web browser, we establish customer trust and improve our brand recognition as a leader in higher education.
- Keep your technology updated. Use the latest browser versions as recommended above. Also keep your operating system (Windows / Mac OS) up-to-date using system updates. Use the latest versions of any assistive technology in use.
- Use quick access links. Since assistive technology navigates differently, we provide links at the top of every page to jump to the body content. At the bottom of the page is a similar link to get back to the top. Depending on page content, there may be similar links to jump to internal page sections as well.
- Navigate using headings. While we use a fairly sophisticated method to display navigation menus for most users, they are constructed in a manner that is intended to provide easy access for all to page and site content.
- Control your browser font sizes. Website content is designed to adjust to the use of larger font sizes. We set a default font size, but your browser can override as desired.
If any issues are found with accessibility, please report the problem in detail so it may be addressed.
Website Design Support
Our website has been designed using modern techniques that are based on web industry standards established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We do not design to support one particular web browser. The browsers listed above are all known to support these standards in a consistent fashion, allowing us to focus on features, functionality, and content.