Software updates: Why they matter for cyber security

January 15, 2020

Regularly updating the software on your computer and other devices is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from cyber threats.
And yet, many people still choose to avoid taking the simplest steps to update their software.

Here’s the Get Cyber Safe guide to how software updates can help protect you, your family and your business from cyber threats.

Why software updates matter

Our computers, tablets and phones are great devices to have. But for all the benefit they bring us, they also leave us exposed to cyber threats. Our devices contain a ton of information about our online activities, personal data and even our banking and financial information.

That’s why we need to keep them safe from cyber threats.

If you protect your devices, you protect yourself. And one of the best – and easiest – ways to protect your device is to regularly update your software.

How software updates can help protect you

Because your operating system manages all the functionality on your computer, it can be a vulnerable target for hackers. Operating systems have many built-in functions to help prevent attacks.

The problem is, though, that cyber threats are constantly changing. That’s why operating system providers regularly offer operating system updates: To keep on top of changing threats from cyber criminals.

If you don’t update your OS, you leave yourself vulnerable to losing the information on your device or compromising access to key accounts. That can cost you your identity, your information and even money.

So, how can you protect yourself? Software updates.

Updating your OS is one of the simplest ways to foil cyber criminals attempting to steal your information.

Tricks for remembering to update your software

Understanding the importance of software updates is one thing. Actually doing them? Another matter entirely.

Here are a few tricks you can use to remember to update your software.

Enable automatic updates

Most operating systems – for both mobile devices and personal computers – come with a feature that allows you to automatically download and install updates.

This is the simplest way to ensure that your computers and other devices are constantly up-to-date.

The only trick? Taking the time to enable the automatic updates in the first place!

Once you do that, your operating system will automatically update key cyber security fixes as soon as they’re available.

Open your device at off hours

The worst time to update your software is when you’re trying to get something done. We get reminders when we open up a computer or laptop, but chances are we opened it to complete a particular task.

Software updates frequently require your device to be unavailable (and then likely have to restart) for at least a period of time. That makes it tough to set aside time out of your work or personal time to allow for these to be completed.

Thankfully, there are some solutions to help you download updates at off hours.

Take a quick work break

We all need to take a break some time, right?

The next time you get prompted with a software update request when you open up your device in the morning but don’t have time to do it right away, set yourself a reminder for later. That way, when that mid-morning coffee break rolls around, all you need to do is enable the update.

Conclusion

Software updates are about a lot more than just getting the latest features for your device or computer. They have important updates that 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.

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