You’re probably no stranger to those little pop-up windows. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
You might be tempted to click on that “Remind me later” button. Could you not do it? Or, at least don’t put off updating your software for long.
Software updates are essential to your digital safety and cyber security. The sooner you update, the sooner you’ll feel confident your device is more secure — until the next update reminder.
Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.
While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to make sure your operating system is running the latest version.
Hackers love security flaws, also known as software vulnerabilities. A software vulnerability is a security hole or weakness found in a software program or operating system. Hackers can take advantage of the weakness by writing code to target the vulnerability. The code is packaged into malware.
An exploit sometimes can infect your computer with no action on your part.
You probably keep a lot of documents and personal information on your devices. Your personally identifiable information — from emails to bank account information — is valuable to cybercriminals.
They can use it to commit crimes in your name or sell it on the dark web to enable others to commit crimes. If it’s a ransomware attack, they might encrypt your data. You might have to pay a ransom for an encryption key to get it back. Or, worse, you might pay a ransom and not get it back.
Updates not only patch security holes, but they can also add new features and improve existing ones. You don’t want to fall behind the times.
In that way, software updates are all about you. Your software program may get a new shot of stability — no more crashing. Or an update might boost program performance — more speed. You deserve no less.
You could ignore those reminders to update your software, but you might be missing out on a lot, starting with your cyber security.