The Importance Of Keeping Devices And Software Up To Date

The Importance Of Keeping Devices And Software Up To Date

Do you know that little pop-up notifying you to restart your computer for a software update? The one that appears at the least opportune time? As bothersome as it may seem, this notification is extremely important to securing and protecting your devices from a cyberattack. Before you click the “Install Later” option, let’s understand why.

By not updating your operating system, you leave yourself vulnerable to losing the information on your device or compromising access to key accounts. It can also cost you your identity, your information and even money.

So, how can you protect yourself? Update your Software – ASAP!

What is a software update?

An update is new, improved, or fixed software, which replaces older versions of the same software. For example, updating your operating system brings it up-to-date with the latest drivers, system utilities, and security software. The software update usually includes new features, bug fixes, or critical security patches.

Why are these updates important for cybersecurity?

Do you ever wonder how secure the applications installed on your device are? Cybercriminals do and they look for vulnerabilities in the security of programs and take advantage of these exposures to gain access to your device. 

Once they have access, they can wreak havoc on your device by enabling a keylogger to track what you type, stealing confidential information, or worse yet, installing ransomware to lock you out of your files and demand payment for access. Software developers help prevent breaches like the examples listed above by fixing vulnerabilities as soon as possible. These fixes are included in software updates. Meaning, the sooner you install your update, the less likely your system is at risk for a cyberattack.

How do I check for software updates?

Any device that runs software, whether it is a computer, phone, or even a smart tv, can release software updates. Most will prompt you when an update is available, but it’s a good habit to check periodically or better yet, enable automatic updates. 

Check out the guide with links to check on the most used platforms with links:


Mac System Updates (for macOS Catalina) 
  1. Open the Apple menu and select About this Mac.
  2. Click Software Updates.
  3. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

Windows System Updates (for Windows 10)
  1. Open the start menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security Settings then select Windows Update.
  3. Click Check for Updates. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

iOS Updates
  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
  2. Tap Software Update.
  3. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.


Android Updates (for most devices running Android 10 or higher) 
  1. Open the Settings app and go to the System section.
  2. Tap About Phone. (If this is not an option, skip to step 3.)
  3. Tap System Updates.
  4. Tap Check for Update. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Please consult the user manual or online support for your specific device.

Conclusion

Software updates are more than just about getting the most up-to-date features for your device, more importantly, these updates allow you to keep you – and your device – safe from cyber threats.

Ensure you’re staying cyber secure by ensuring your operating system is always up-to-date.

Melissa Swann


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