Yes, taking the time to keep your software updated really does pay off
Tell me if you've ever found yourself in this cycle: You sit down to your computer, ready to tackle the day, and that little notification pops up trying to get you to update your software. Mindful of the time that you so foolishly clicked that button, only to have to figure out what to do with the next hour of your life while your computer did a full install of a new OS (and you were definitely late for a Zoom call), you click "Remind Me Later."
Then you click it again, "later."
You keep clicking until it mysteriously stops bugging you. "Phew!" you think. But just because it's not popping up anymore, doesn't mean there isn't still an update that needs doing. And that update could be the last thing standing between you and a cyber attack.
Yup, sorry to inform you, but those software updates aren't just for fun. They're actually essential to not only keeping your machine running smoothly, but also for protecting you against cyber attacks, malware, and other security holes. Here are three reasons why you really shouldn't ignore those software updates.
1. They might be fixing software bugs.
Imagine you're nearing the end of a weeks-long project for work and everything just collapses. Terrifying, right? That's why you have to make sure to update your software. If your computer or other device has a bug in it that you don't correct with a software update, it can crash your whole system.
On a less dramatic level, neglecting apps updates can cause them to malfunction or to crash. While that's usually just annoying, rather than catastrophic, it's still not worth the headache. So just update your software!
2. They protect against malware.
Cyber criminals are working 24/7 to find gaps in popular software that they can exploit. And you know what they do when they find one of those gaps? Exploit them!
While some malware — like phishing or downloading a sketchy file — is acquired from an action taken by the user, other types specifically exploit the human weakness of hating to update our software. Trust that the company that made your device is trying to correct those security gaps as soon as they find them and update your software.
3. They could protect you against identity theft.
One of the major things that cyber criminals are trying to do when they attempt to break into your device is steal personal information. We're talking not only credit card numbers, but social security information, addresses, passport numbers, licenses… We collectively store so much personal information on the cloud now that it's pretty much irresistible to thieves.
Regularly updating your software is one quick and easy way to protect against identity theft, which is an increasingly difficult task in this day and age. Will it completely protect you? Of course not. But why take the chance?
Getting stuck with a software update when you’re supposed to be working is undeniably a pain. But, trust us — the pain will be greater if you don’t. Even if you can’t do it in the morning when you get that first notification, set a reminder for the end of the day. You won’t regret it.