We’ve all seen those alerts to update the operating system or other locally installed computer software. It’s tempting to select the “Remind Me Later” or “Not Now” buttons because we’re often involved in doing something else at the time. The problem is that putting off these updates can put your computer at risk of the latest virus and malware attacks that the updates are intended to block. The importance of operating system updates cannot be over emphasized – especially for businesses. You’ll also miss out on updates that fix bugs and add functionality to improve the speed and usability of the software.
Protection from Cyber Criminals
Hackers are constantly looking for new ways to compromise popular and ubiquitous software. Since most computers require either Microsoft or Apple operating system software, they are the most targeted and vulnerable. The frequent releases of security updates from Microsoft and Apple are our protection from the latest attempts by hackers to compromise our computer systems. There is no end in sight for this cat and mouse game that the software companies are forced to play with cyber criminals. Failure to download and install the latest software security updates compromises your computer systems security. That can have dire affects on your systems performance and the security of your data.
Note: If your running software that is obsolete and no longer supported by the software developer, like Windows XP, they are no longer sending out updates in response to hackers compromising its security. You are defenseless against any new efforts by these cyber criminals!
Your Document Security and the Security of Those You Share With
Most of us keep personal information and documents on our computers. This personally identifiable information can include emails, photos, bank account information and tax documents loaded with tidbits that cyber criminals crave. They can use it to commit crimes in your name or sell it on the dark web. Business also store sensitive customer information that cyber criminals can exploit. Upgrading your software and operating system helps keeps new vulnerabilities blocked and your data safe. Keeping your data safe is also important because it keeps you from passing on viruses and malware to your friends, family, and business associates when you share files.
Not all updates are related to thwarting the latest malware threats. Software developers are constantly working to improve the functionality of their software and the end-user’s experience. They want to maintain their edge over their competitors and keep you happy as their customer. That means that bugs are weeded out and new functionality is added to improve the effectiveness of their software product.
For businesses, improvements in software functionality and effectiveness can drive growth and maximize ROI on their software investment. Not upgrading their business software packages can put them at a disadvantage compared to competitors and make it harder to compete and be profitable.
Many software applications have an automatic update option. This allows you to let the software update itself when needed. You’ll receive all the benefits of software developer’s improvements without having to think about it or relying on your employees to keep their computers updated and secure.
It's hard to disagree that the short time it takes to download and update software is time well spent. The consequences of not diligently updating your software can be severe and you'll miss out on optimizing the software you've already paid for so you can use it to its full potential.