Software updates always seem to come at the worst time like when you’re in the middle of work that you need to get done or while you’re on level 20 of candy crush. Either way it’s easy to hit the “not now” or “cancel” button and tell yourself you’ll just do it later. But unless you have automatic updates set up, that’s seldom the case. It can leave you very vulnerable to a variety of cyber-attacks that could end in you losing a lot of time and money.
There are so many examples of data breeches where a company has their records stolen and the private information of their clients is compromised. It happens to huge companies and small alike, and it makes sense that a big flaw in security would be employees who haven’t kept up with their updates. You can have every firewall and antivirus you want, but if you aren’t updating them, they won’t be able to recognize a new security threat.
The Equifax breach a few years back affected nearly 143 million consumers by taking advantage of a weakness in the web application. The hackers gained access to names, social security, addresses and other personal information. Imagine having all your data stolen out from under you because someone forgot to update their computer, you could be on the receiving end if you don’t do your best to keep yourself safe from cyber-attacks.
Updates are all about making software better. I’m sure you think your device is running just fine and you don’t feel like learning the navigation of a new version of an application, but the truth is, everything needs to be improved. All software has its flaws, glitches, and bugs but we don’t always come across them in our day to day. But when we do, it’s always a huge inconvenience that crashes the application you’re using to complete a project leaving you to despair because you forgot to save it and need to start over from scratch.
You don’t want that, I don’t want that, and the company making the software doesn’t want that. Which is why they are always on the lookout for these issues and working on ways to fix them, and once they do you get the annoying but necessary “You have a software update available.”
Not only are they meant to improve your experience, they’re also there to patch up any weaknesses in the previous software that hackers have learned to exploit. Which keeps your applications safe and resistant to any malware cooked up to find its way through those weaknesses.
On top of improving the functionality of your device updates also work towards keeping your information safe. Your devices are full of sensitive information including emails and personal documents. Software updates patch up any weaknesses that could allow hackers access to your device since, and when they learn the weaknesses of the new one there's already a newer update.
It’s a big game of tag and the goal is to not be caught, but if you chose to ignore the update it’s like your shoe is untied and you're running slower. While there’s a chance you won’t get attacked, you’re now ripe for the picking if they do target you.
Even if you aren’t worried about your device getting hacked what about everyone else? Because once they have access to your device and accounts, they’ll be able to target all your contacts. Your friend, family, and clients could all be at risk of an attack just like that. They could send an email pretending to be you with a link to a “really funny cat video” then boom, expose all the people who clicked on it to malware that will infect them. This keeps going until they’ve stolen all their information and either hold it ransom and demand payment or buy 40 cases of bananas. Why? Who knows, they can do whatever they want once they have your information.
What about the most obvious reason to update your devices regularly? EVERYTHING GETS BETTER. Yeah, your computer starts running better, the applications stop crashing, what's not to like? Do you really want your computer to be sluggish when you’re relying on it to do work every day, probably not? You want your computer to be in tip top shape so that you can be as effective as possible while you’re working, and you do that by staying current with your updates so you can get the very best software. If you ever feel like an application or device is running slow checking for an update might expose that the culprit is a sneaky hidden update.
The best way to make sure that you’re always getting the latest updates as they come out is to make sure that you have automatic updates enabled. You can set them to update on a specific weekday and time on most computers, which will allow you to have peace of mind that your devices will be up to date even if you forget to start them.