A lot have changes have been happening the past few weeks. Grocery stores have changed the way they handle traffic at their stores to maximize the safety of shoppers and employees. Businesses have had to close, or change the way that they do business in order to survive. Cybercriminals have increased the volume and types of attacks to take advantage of people who are scared and desperate. Which makes it that much more important for us to focus on staying safe not only from Covid-19, but also cyber dangers.
With most people staying at home, there is an increase of time people are spending online and browsing. This includes hackers and cyber criminals. So it is imperative that we stay alert and do our best at staying safe while browsing. That means avoiding websites without an SSL certificate, never making a purchase unless they encrypt payment information, and being suspicious of emails, and text messages with links.
But these are not the only way to stay safe. There is something so much easier that most of us brush off and forget. Updates, they seem tedious but they do a lot towards keeping your software and devices secure.
Software updates do a lot of different things. They can patch holes or security risks, improve how the software runs, fix or remove bugs, or add new features that replace old outdated technology. They also protect your data from theft by cyber criminals who look for weaknesses in software in order to compromise your device.
One of the main reasons companies release software patches so frequently is because there are always hackers trying to exploit weaknesses so they can steal information. All software has weaknesses, nothing is perfect and even if it is you can learn how to break in given enough time. These updates that always seem to pop up at the worst times are working diligently to keep your information safe from these attacks. But when you brush them aside for an hour, for a week, month, or even longer you are putting yourself at risk.
The way these hackers work is they discover these holes and write in their own code. Malware that then infects your device to steal your information before going off to infect your contacts. All of those important documents you and your friends keep on your computers, important information in your emails, all of that is up for grabs.
Now depending on the type of attack they might sell the information, they might encrypt your data and hold it for ransom, or just steal your identity and wreak havoc on your life.
But it won’t be just you, it’ll be everyone in your contacts. By dismissing the update and never going back to it you risk compromising more than just your data. You risk compromising everyone you know just because you didn’t have the time to either update at the time it popped up or doing it before you left your device for the day. Forgetting the risks of not updating, what about the features you are missing out on by putting them off.
New updates hold new features, new information, and fixes issues. Maybe your device or an app has been a little buggy lately, the solution might be in that update you’ve been putting off. There are things you might not even notice that could be made better by just going through with an update.
A easy way to make sure your updates go through are to schedule them for specific times or doing it before you finish using the device. iPhones usually update at 12am while we are sleeping because most people aren’t using their phones that late and it allows for an uninterrupted amount of time. Mac’s will usually prompt you that they are available and ask if you want a reminder in an hour, 3, or later at night. Windows computers also have this feature where you can schedule your updates for the best time for your work flow.
If you have questions on the best security software for you, or need help after suffering a malware attack contact your IT professional immediately.