March 16, 2021

Privacy Tip of the Week: Always Do Your Software Updates on Time

Posted by Rhiannon

The average person has forty mobile apps on their smartphones alone. Add in the number of programs on personal computers, and the amount of software we all have access to only increases. So does the number of software updates we’re subjected to. It can seem like an update is always lurking, demanding device restarts at the most inconvenient times, or at the very least creating annoying notifications. 

However, updates are incredibly important for security. They often fix app flaws that can be exploited by hackers and other cybercriminals. If you don’t complete software updates in a timely manner, your devices and the information on them may fall prey to these criminals. They also often add new features and make the software better. So why do people avoid updates, and can you make them more convenient? These are our tips:

  • Why do people avoid software updates?
  • How can I make updates more convenient?

Why Do People Avoid Software Updates?

Almost all of us are guilty of postponing updates at one point or another. But there are some who avoid them at all costs, until the software eventually forces the change. So, with updates as important as they are, why do people try to avoid them? There are a few reasons:

  • Many software users simply don’t know that updates are an important part of keeping application security up-to-date. Because they don’t realize their importance, they don’t know that delaying them can be harmful.
  • Some people view software updates as simply too annoying to complete. They often seem to want a device restart in the middle of the workday, or while a software is currently in use. 
  • Unfortunately, updates occasionally have undetected bugs in them which can “break” a software, at least temporarily. Many people choose to delay updates, sacrificing their security to avoid the inconvenience of software breaks.
  • In some cases, users believe software updates slow their devices. While this is certainly possible (some updates require more resources to run an app), the more likely culprit is that you have junk saved somewhere in the software (or elsewhere on your device) and clearing it out can increase your device speeds again.

How Can I Make Updates More Convenient?

If you’re a habitual update postponer, making the process more convenient can help you stay on top of them. Some ways to do just that include:

  • Turning on auto-updates. Most devices offer an auto-updating feature so you don’t have to keep checking for them on your own. In addition, if your device can update apps in the background, make sure that’s enabled too; the updates are less likely to get in your way.
  • Checking your devices before bed. Get into the habit of checking for updates on your computers and mobile devices before you go to bed. If there’s an update, it can be done while you sleep instead of interrupting other important work.
  • Deleting extra apps: If you don’t use an app or software regularly, delete it. Why waste time updating an app you don’t even need?

We know software updates are annoying. But, if you value your data security and privacy, don’t delay them when they’re available! Keeping your devices up-to-date keeps you safe online.

Posted by Rhiannon

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