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Device software updates – what’s the big deal?

We are often made aware of software updates available for our computer, laptop, Mac, tablet, or mobile device. We receive a popup notification alerting us to this regular event and we may even have the ability to delay the installation of these updates – or ignore them. 

Why are these updates important? – and what happens if I ignore them?

Regularly applying software updates is an important part of protecting your personal devices and data – and other personal data that you have stored or have access to – like the personal details of your family and friends.

Software updates mainly fix known vulnerabilities that your computer, laptop, Mac, tablet, or mobile device is exposing. These vulnerabilities can be security holes that have been discovered or other computer bugs that need addressing.

2020 saw the highest number of vulnerabilities ever recorded in a year – just over 18 000 and more than half of these were rated as a critical or high risk – this means it’s not a good idea to ignore software updates.

Unfortunately, because these vulnerabilities are known and disclosed, cybercriminals are also aware of the opportunities that exist in exploiting them

What are the best practices regarding software updates?

According to CertNZ, keeping your software and devices updated is one of the easiest and most effective ways of protecting yourself from a cyber attack

They go on to explain that less obvious devices around your home or business may need software updates as well for example – printers, heat pumps, wireless speakers, garage door openers and your smart appliances, which can be controlled remotely, often via a mobile app.

Software update elements

Apart from security enhancements, software updates offer plenty of other benefits. The software on your computer, laptop, Mac, tablet, or mobile device can become unpredictable and unstable or may need an enhancement to improve its stability and performance. Software updates can apply all these elements in a single update.

 

Top tips for software updates

  • Remember that software updates need to be applied to your operating system (e.g. Windows, iOS, etc.) and your applications.
  • Enable automatic updates for as many devices as possible – it’s the simplest way to ensure that your devices are up to date.
  • Touch, Pause, Engage – take the time to install the software updates that are prompting you.
  • Make time to update those less obvious devices around your home or business.

 

What can I do to protect my business?

Businesses are targeted through people – using phishing, malware and online scams. Enable your business to become cyber smart and by equipping your staff with practical, ongoing and relevant knowledge, tools and ideas through a robust security awareness programme.

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