You may not realize it, but cybercriminals constantly find new vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the software people use every day.
This software may run your computer, could be the mobile apps you use on your smartphone, or perhaps even the software in your baby monitor or other devices in your home. Attackers take advantage of these software weaknesses, allowing them to break into devices around the world remotely.
At the same time, the software and device vendors are constantly developing fixes for these weaknesses and pushing fixes out as software updates. One of the best ways to protect yourself from software vulnerability is to ensure the technologies you use all have the latest updates, making it much harder for cyber attackers to break into them.
How Updating Works
When a software vulnerability is discovered, the vendor develops and releases an update, also known as a patch. Most software programs and devices have a mechanism to connect over the Internet to the vendor’s server to obtain the software update. This update is nothing more than a small program and can typically install itself to fix the vulnerability.
Examples of software you need to update regularly are the operating systems that run your computers, such as Microsoft Windows or OSX, or your smartphones, such as Android or iOS. Additionally, but often overlooked, you need to update the programs that run on your devices, such as your computer’s web browser, word processor, messaging software, or your phone’s mobile apps, especially social media apps.
For these reasons, whenever you purchase a new computer program or a new mobile app, check first to be sure the software vendor is actively updating the program or device. The longer software goes without updating, the more likely it is to have vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. Many vendors, such as Microsoft and Apple, automatically release new patches at least every month.
Finally, remove computer programs, software, and mobile apps from your system if you no longer use them. The less software you have to update, the more secure you are.
How Manual Updates Work
When an update for a device, operating system, program, or mobile app is available, you are alerted to manually download and install the update. This gives you more control over what and when updates are installed. Manual updates allow you to test the changes first to detect and address any issues caused by the update.
The disadvantage of manual updates is that it may take you much longer to update the system or even forget to install the update – and then you’re back at square one!
How Automatic Updates Work
For most programs, you can set up your system so that whenever a device, operating system, program, or mobile app detects that the vendor has released a new update, it automatically downloads and installs the update.
The advantage of automatic updates is that you don’t have to do anything. Your software ensures that the technologies you are using are current. We highly recommend you enable and use automatic updating on all of your devices for individuals, families, and small businesses. This ensures that all of your technologies, from your smartphone and laptop to your baby monitor and door locks, all have the latest software.
Up-to-date devices and software make it much harder for cybercriminals to attack them. Enabling automatic updates is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself and securely make the most of today’s technology.
The experts at Grand Technology Solutions can help determine the best hardware and software for your business needs. We also continuously monitor your environment for updates, so you don’t have to worry. To learn more about our services give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email email@example.com today.