Why It’s Important to Perform Security Updates on Your Devices
At some point, you’ve seen a message or two pop up on your computer or mobile device reminding you to install security updates. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, or mobile device.
On receiving these messages, you might have probably attempted to click the “Remind me later” button. Avoid doing that, or at least don’t postpone updating your device for too long.
Updating your device’s software is vital to ensuring that you don’t fall victim to cybersecurity threats. The sooner your devices are updated, the sooner you’ll feel more secure –until the next update reminder. Continue reading this post to discover what you should keep updated and why security updates are important.
What to Keep Up to Date
You should ensure that you have ways of keeping the following software updated:
- Operating System: While most operating systems automatically support updates, you need to enable the automatic update feature.
- Third-Party Apps: The apps you install on your devices need to be kept up to date. Some apps will update themselves automatically, some will be updated through the app store, but others may require that you install updates yourself.
- Web Browser: Web browsers are usually vulnerable given that the software that you upload or the sites that you visit could potentially exploit vulnerabilities in them. As such, you should ensure that your web browsers and extensions are always up to date.
- Antivirus: It’s likely that you use antivirus or endpoint security apps to keep your devices safe. You’ll need to keep your antivirus updated. Like any other software, antivirus updates not only include bug fixes but also include new signatures that can be used to detect malware that has been recently detected by the antivirus company.
Reasons Why Software Updates and Patches Are Important
Here’s a look at why you should update your devices:
1. Patch Security Flaws
Cybercriminals often exploit software vulnerabilities –software vulnerabilities are security loopholes or weaknesses found in an operating system or software. Cybercriminals can take advantage of such weaknesses by writing codes that target the vulnerability.
An exploit can sometimes infect your device without you taking any action other than just viewing a website, playing an infected media, or opening a compromised message. Software updates often include patches that cover security loopholes to keep threat actors out.
2. Protect Your Data
Chances are that you keep many documents and personal information on your devices. Your personal information, such as your bank account information and social security number, is valuable to cybercriminals. As such, they’ll try to exploit security vulnerabilities on your devices to get hold of such information.
Updating your device’s operating system and software will ensure that any security vulnerabilities are mended so that cybercriminals cannot access your data.
3. Introduce New Features
Another reason why software updates are essential is that they may improve some of your program’s features or even add new features. These are usually considered non-essential updates; even so, they are still worthwhile to ensure that your software is compatible with what your peers and customers are using.
Software updates may even boost the performance of your devices, making them more efficient and less prone to crashes.
4. Compatibility Updates
There are times when you need to update your device’s software because of the way it interacts with other software. This is the case for any program that interacts with your computer or mobile device’s driver. Drivers are programs that tell your device features, such as sound and graphics, how to function. When the drivers are updated, the devices that interact with them need to be updated. Such updates are important, given that without them, certain aspects of your device’s system won’t function properly.
5. Protect Other People
While cybersecurity is mostly about you, you’ve also got other people to think about. If your device gets infected with malware, you could pass it on to your clients and business associates. That’s why you need to ensure that your software and systems are always up to date.
Tricks for Remembering to Update Your Software
Understanding the importance of updating your devices is important. Actually ensuring that your device’s software is updated is another matter entirely. Below are a few tricks you can use to remember to update your software:
1. Enable Automatic Updates
Most operating systems (both for computers and mobile devices) come with a feature that allows you to automatically download and install updates. This is the simplest way of ensuring that your devices are always up to date.
The only trick is taking the time to enable the automatic update feature on your device. Once you do that, your device’s operating system will automatically update key cybersecurity fixes as soon as they are available.
2. Switch On Your Devices at Off Hours
The worst time to update your phone is when you’re trying to get something done. When you get a security reminder, there’s a high probability that you’ll be working on a given task.
Given that software updates usually require that your device be unavailable for some period, it may be tough to set aside time out of your work schedule to allow the updates to be completed.
Fortunately, there are some solutions to help you download software updates during off-hours:
- Set a timer to remind you to update your device: This ensures that you can download software updates during periods when you are not using your device.
- Check software updates before you go to bed: This ensures that you start any software updates, so they happen while you sleep.
Software updates are more than just getting the latest features for your device. They have essential updates that help you keep your device from cyber threats. As such, you should ensure that you’re staying cyber secure by updating your computer and other devices.
Veltec Networks Can Help You Manage Your Business’s Cybersecurity Risks
When you hire Veltec, you’ll get a team of experts that will ensure that your business is protected from various cybersecurity threats. We will do this by ensuring that your devices are updated, monitoring your networks, and training your staff on cybersecurity best practices. Contact us today to get started.