CyberCat can hear you groaning, but keeping all your computers, devices and software updated is so important to keeping them safe and secure.
Ask yourself, which is more inconvenient: losing a few minutes updating your devices, or rebuilding your systems/life after a compromise?
All the cool cats do it
Is it really that important to perform updates?
In short, yes. 100%. Here are reasons why updates get released:
To bring you new, improved features.
To fix bugs and improve performance.
To fix software vulnerabilities.
Cyber attackers are always looking to exploit vulnerabilities in the software people use. Just because a product still works doesn't mean that it is safe.
More reason to digitally declutter
You probably have programs, software or apps that you haven't used in a while -- or ever. If you're not using it, you're probably not updating it, so it is best to remove it from your device.
Try this trick if you're not sure whether you really need that app: put them in a folder on your device. If you need to use one, take it out of the folder. It has survived. After a month or two, check the folder and delete the ones that are left over.
The easy way... and the way that ensures you'll probably always forget to install the update
There are two ways to update your system: automatically or manually. Enabling automatic updating on your devices is the simplest and most effective way to protect yourself, and it takes most of the thought out of it. Some software and programs you'll still have to update manually, and maybe you want the control that a manual update provides. If the software alerts you that it needs to be updated, don't put it off. The end goal is to make sure everything is up-to-date. This applies to any Internet-connected device, even your TVs, baby monitors, security cameras and gaming consoles.
Not sure how to enable automatic updates? Instructions will vary by device, so Google "How to update [make/model or operating system]" for the step-by-steps.
Are you still using Windows 7?
CyberCat gets it -- change is hard. That odd adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't apply. You don't necessary know if it's broken, and if it is, it's too late. By staying on Windows 7, you expose yourself to security risks for which there is no fix.
CyberCat's reading list
Are you using Office 2010 at home? Microsoft has been really trying to get users to update their software, operating system, etc. Add to that Office 2010 -- Microsoft will be ending support on October 13, 2020. That means no technical support, no patches, and no security updates. You may be thinking, "well, jokes on them, I'm still using Office 2003," but read this article about why it's important and what you can do, including some alternatives.
This short article gives a few tricks you can use to remember to update your software.
CyberCat is your guide through the world of cybersecurity. She knows it can be intimidating out there, so that's why it's her mission to educate you about using technology responsibly. She brings you semi-regular information so you can be proactive about protecting yourself. Don't want to miss an issue?