Why Updating Your Software is Important for Security

You’re in the middle of doing something important – creating a report the boss needs by the end of the day or composing a detail-filled email to your top client – when it happens: a pop-up box appears on your screen, interrupting your work flow to let you know that an update to one of your computer applications is ready to be downloaded and installed. But you’re busy. This can wait, you think. You set it aside for another time.

Software updates can be time-consuming, but it’s important to take the time and install them in a timely manner.

You might not realize it, but software updates can go a long way toward protecting your computer and personal files. It’s actually pretty routine for software developers to identify security problems in products that are already on the market. In fact, that’s often the primary reason for issuing updates — to address security problems or glitches that have been discovered after the application’s release. In some cases, the revised security measures improve upon those previously provided.

Security problems in applications are known as software vulnerabilities, and the term means exactly what you think it does. A vulnerability provides an open door to savvy hackers, who are experts at exploiting vulnerabilities to achieve their own ends. What this means for you is that they can then create code, package it in malware (malicious software) and share it with you via a rogue email or even through a website that looks innocent enough. The next thing you know, your computer is infected and the malware is grabbing your data.

You do not want this to happen.

Another unfortunate thing that malware often does is it comprises your address book, sending infected messages to everyone in your network. As a result, those unsuspecting contacts –

your family members, friends and others – see a message from you, think you’re sharing something fun or informative with them, then click on a bad link, causing problems to their own computers or devices.

Software updates are issued for a reason.

Computer and online security should be a priority for everyone. You can never be too cautious, especially when hackers can be extremely resourceful. For companies networks that become infected or compromised, downtime and repairs can be both time-consuming and expensive. Updates, when you receive them, will offer you the highest functionality available, along with the most peace-of-mind that you’re protecting your hardware and your data.

Finally, look into antivirus and security software to learn what’s offered and how you can benefit from installing it on your computer. Read online reviews, then do what works most effectively for your situation.