Updating your software isn’t exciting
No one gets butterflies in their stomach or an adrenaline rush when a pop-up appears on the screen declaring that it’s time for an update. It’s more of a begrudging acceptance.
What’s worse is that 42 percent of adults are guilty of ignoring that pesky pop-up message, until we absolutely have to reboot and can no longer click “remind me later.”
Keeping your software up-to-date is important and, albeit sometimes irritating and inconvenient. But updates affect usability, security and compatibility with other software and we should start getting in the habit of following through on those notifications.
Because technology is constantly evolving, any kind of big, powerful software is bound to have some flaws — and it's just a matter of time before they’re discovered.
Security researchers and ethical hackers work hard, playing a constant cat-and-mouse game with potential hackers to figure out issues first. They get creative and try to address these loopholes before cybercriminals have a chance to take advantage of them. Updates then act as a “Band-Aid” to bolster these weak spots as problems arise.
Update Your Software Soon and Often
Even if an update doesn't introduce any cool, new “bright and shiny” features, and is just "improvements and bug fixes," it's still worth a download. After all, updates:
- Patch security holes, flaws, and other vulnerabilities that could have been easy prey for malicious users out to exploit now known issues;
- Fix bugs and therefore provide more efficient, faster software, plug-ins and computer systems; and
- Prevent your device from being hacked and your personal information from being compromised.
Face it, technology isn't perfect. Computers are big, complex machines and vulnerabilities and weaknesses are inevitable, hence the importance of updates. Procrastinating updates can be especially risky. When bad guys (hackers and cybercriminals) find a loophole that could allow them access to the devices that you are connected to 24/7, the good guys (software vendors) release a patch, and you, the user, better install it if you want to be safe versus sorry. Ever-evolving threats are resolved by ever-evolving protections thanks to updates.
Rather Safe Than Sorry
While enabling automatic downloads for our phones has made our lives easier, you have to give your computer and other software dependent devices permission — but it’s still relatively painless. Most updates take less than five minutes to install from start to finish. So rather than click “defer” a dozen times, remember that the consequences that come from avoiding these updates will be much more problematic. Your device should run faster and more smoothly than before. But most importantly, it will be more secure, stable, and protected against known threats.