It is VERY IMPORTANT to make sure that all the applications programs on your computer and mobile devices are updated. This #OnlineThreat can cause a number of issues, in addition to security vulnerabilities. We frequently trace all kinds of problems to pending software and operating system updates.
Many of you are familiar with the reality that many software programs:
- Occasionally have bugs (i.e. problems with the code).
- Need to install security patches and updates.
This is NOT because the programs are badly written or that the software company doesn’t know what they are doing. It’s just a fact of life that as software gets more and more sophisticated, the underlying code becomes more complicated. So just like any other product, there may be problems that won’t be discovered until a lot of people use it under a wide variety of conditions.
With software, there is also another problem. Because many programs need to access sensitive (as in private) areas where your data is stored or because they have to communicate over the internet, many people, organizations, and even governments are constantly looking for ways to exploit this. Thus the makers of your programs are constantly finding ways to secure their software against whatever vulnerabilities are discovered.
And so the software companies need to push out updates to your computer!
Fortunately, in many cases the process is automatic. You see that when you log in and your computer notifies you that it was automatically updated or even restarted.
It’s also a good idea to restart your computer at least once a day. This will complete the installation of many updates, plus it closes down processes and refreshes your computer’s memory. Even your phones and tablets benefit from a daily restart.
At other times, you’ll be prompted to install the update. Sure, this may pop up at an inconvenient time. But just make sure that you do run the update at your earliest convenience. The software will usually prompt you later, but you can often see an icon in your computer’s notification area (by the time and date in Windows).
Finally, if you are familiar with the procedure, do make sure that your operating system is set up to download and install updates automatically. Some IT people are hesitant about this and argue that updates should be run manually, but we’ve seen entire networks shut down from malware because someone configured the computers to be updated manually.
If you’re not sure how to set this up or if you have questions about updating your software, contact us right away!
#OnlineThreats is an ongoing series of social media posts with the aim of informing everyone using the internet about common dangers. The net is a wonderful place and many threats can be avoided with just a few precautions. Think of it as going into a city. There are cool sights, fun things to do, and great places to eat. But if you’re not careful, you can get into serious trouble. Still, that doesn’t stop you from going there. Otherwise, the bad guys will have won. Same with the internet!
Over time, you’ll be able to check on the entire list of online threats by going to our blog and clicking on the category, Computing Security. You can always find a shortcut here: http://t2d.la/security