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  • Burton Kelso, Tech Expert

Ignoring Software Updates Can Harm Your Devices



It never fails. You’re working hard on your computer, smartphone or tablet and that annoying message pops out of nowhere saying “a software update is available”. In most cases you click “cancel” instead of “install”, saying to yourself "I'll get to it later, but you never do them. Does this sound familiar? The truth is it’s easy to get in the habit of skipping software updates because they don't seem that important and they take so darn long to install. But not doing them allows cyber criminals access to your personal information, putting you at risk for identity theft, loss of money, credit, and more.

You remember the Equifax data breach, right? Well did you know a hackers were able to access Equifax's data because they failed to perform software updates? It's true. Hackers were able to break in through a known vulnerability in a web application. The sad part is that a fix for this security hole was actually available two months before the breach. Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to security holes.

It doesn't matter if it's for Microsoft Office, your computer, or an update for your browser, updates do more than just give you new features or make changes to your software that sometimes do more to confuse you than help. Computer manufactures are constantly bombarding you with updates to make your software run efficiently and to protect you from vulnerabilities that hackers find and try to exploit. The bonus is software updates can add new features to your computer or smart device that allows them to have new features that will make your tech work with the latest stuff on the market.

When vulnerabilities are found, software developers release an update or a patch. These patches are important and should to be installed as soon as they pop up on your device. If you ignore them, opens the computer to cyber-criminal compromises because of the “un-patched” vulnerability. This becomes dangerous because the vulnerability can then be exploited by hackers who don’t need to use Internet scams to get into your computer; they can simply take advantage of the flaw to get your information.

Here are some tips to follow to keep you safe.

  • Understand that keeping your Anti-Virus software up-to-date is critical. This protects you from the latest threats.

  • Enable auto-update for software on your computers, smartphones and tablet. If you can't enable auto update, make a habit to regularly check for and apply updates.

  • Before downloading any software or apps, read the reviews first to make sure it’s safe to install. Hackers love upload fake programs that are designed to steal your information.

  • Keep on top of the latest threats so you know how to protect yourself from online threats.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

I'm Burton Kelso and I'm a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


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