The following scenario may sound familiar:
You open your computer to check your email or to perform some other routine functions. Before long, a notification window automatically opens in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, saying that a new update is available for your computer’s operating system or a specific piece of software. Because you’re in the middle of a task, you’re quick to click on the “Remind me later” option and continue with your computer usage. Not a big deal, right?
However, when you log on the next day, the same notification pops up. Because you’re busy once again, you click on the “Remind me later” option again. After a week, month, or even year, you still have not made the recommended upgrade. Why is this so?
“Well, it’s not a significant upgrade.”
While updating the operating system of your mobile device or computer can result in several nifty new features, the majority of upgrades don’t come with such capabilities. Most of these upgrades don’t change how you interact with your devices at all. So, if there aren’t any cool new features, why bother with a new update?
All Updates Do Something
Whether or not you can detect a difference in the features or performance of your devices after a system upgrade, every software does something…and it’s typically far more important than you think.
Closing the Doors on Cyber Threats
While there are a handful of cyber threats that find their way into your secure system through the front door, either by cracking your password or stealing your identity, there are others who enter through insecure software systems. All software systems have vulnerabilities. Cyber threats are constantly searching for these weaknesses so they can obtain access to secure systems. Fortunately, software companies work diligently to identify and “patch” these vulnerabilities in their own systems.
Pest Control Visits For Your Devices
When your home is overrun with pests, seeing the exterminator’s truck coming down the street is exciting. However, when the exterminator calls about a routine visit when no pests are visible, you’re likely much like a person who has received a notification that a new software update is available—”meh, I don’t really need that.” However, little do you know, a whole family of roaches may be swarming just below the floorboards of your home. That routine visit could very well be keeping a potential infestation from surfacing. This is the proper way to think about software patch upgrades.
So, when can you ignore software updates? Never.
Just like routine exterminator visits protect your home from a bug invasion, so too do new software upgrades decrease the risk of a cyber attack. While you may be able to “Remind me later” until you’ve wrapped up your current task, it pays to take a break, get a coffee, and install the update. Like a preventative exterminator visit, you may be delighted did so.