Cybersecurity – Why Updates Are So Important

We all get irritated by how often we’re asked to update our software and passwords on our phones, laptops, and tablets. It’s both time consuming and annoying. But what if you thought of it in terms of a workout, where you’re putting your body through an exercise regimen to help improve its performance?

It’s safe to say that just about every device that we own will require regular updates; your personal computer, laptop, tablets, phone, smart watch, etc, in order to stay current and up to date.  Whether it’s a “patch” – smaller maintenance update – or a full blown update, these are essential to the health of our devices.

Any device connected to the internet is vulnerable to fraud, including phishing scams. And just as we try hard to combat these weaknesses, we’re having to keep up with the new and creative ways that fraudsters are finding to attack us through our technology. The first way you can be vigilant against fraud is to not ignore your update notifications. These updates and patches will make it much more difficult for hackers to access your device and take it over, thus gaining access to your personal information and credentials.

But not only are you only protecting yourself, you’re also protecting others, as some criminals will gain access to your contacts and use them to create a botnet (a huge group or hacked, connected devices), or other scheme to deliver large-scale hardware viruses or disable programs.

If you work for a larger company, they may push out fairly regular patches and updates. But regardless, here are a few tips to remember when keeping your devices safe:

·         Many devices have a setting you can enable that will allow regular updates by default. Take a look and see if you’ve enabled that setting on your device.

·         When an update notification comes through, take the time to apply it, instead of repeatedly putting it off because you don’t have the time.  Because then you risk                  forgetting to get back to it later.

·         For any connected devices – like smartwatches, for example – make sure that you’re occasionally connecting them to their consoles, so you’ll know when a patch might        be needed and how to apply it.

Like any new health routine, it just takes a little time to get into the habit until it becomes second nature. Make your cyber security one of those priorities.