Why It’s Important You Update Your Device’s Operating System

Anyone who has any kind of smartphone, a Mac or a Dell computer knows that updating your device’s operating system is part of the regular routine. Periodically, your device will receive a notification that a software update is ready.

Why is it necessary to click “download?”

Not only does it ensure your computer or phone will run smoothly and have all the latest apps, but it guarantees your device is as secure as can be.

UK-based Get Safe Online reports that cybercriminals are constantly trying to find vulnerabilities in tech from companies like Apple or Microsoft. As a result, software updates are perfected and made available so that your favorite devices are protected from increasingly sophisticated threats.

It might be tempting to minimize that software update window or delay downloading for another day. The UK cybersecurity organization says the risks are just too high to procrastinate. By not installing the latest updates, you leave your laptop, phone or tablet prone to everything from cybercrime attacks — via malware and spyware — to crashes and freezes.

Computer security giant Norton offers five key reasons why it’s necessary to keep your tech outfitted with the latest updates:

  • Updates have a lot of benefits: Getting the latest software for your tech ensures you patch up any potential security holes and remove bugs you might not realize your computer or phone even has. The downloaded software also means your device possesses the latest features. Out with the old, in with the new.
  • Shields you from security flaws: Hackers are always on the lookout for the latest flaw in your device’s security system. They write specific code to tackle a vulnerability that might exist in outdated software. Worryingly, this can be done without you doing anything. You might just play infected media or view a compromised website. Software updates provide needed patches that will shield you from hackers.
  • Save your data: Data is everything. It comes in the form of crucial work documents saved on your computer or sensitive information like bank account logins. Getting the latest software update protects this content so that you are safe from hackers who might force you to pay a ransom to rescue the data you hold most dear.
  • Protect those around you: If our current COVID-19 health crisis is revealing anything to us, it is the reality that protecting our own health helps those around us. Computer health isn’t that different from public health. By keeping your tech safe, you are protecting those you come in contact with online. This way you aren’t passing viruses to the coworkers you email or the friends you share music with. By making sure your systems remain intact, you are doing the same for those you interact with the most online.
  • You owe it to yourself: Purchasing a new laptop or a smartphone is expensive. It’s a needed investment for modern life, especially now that working from home means we are keyed into our devices nearly 24/7. Given that reality, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to have the most cyber-secure device imaginable to keep you, your friends and your data safe?

Published by Peter Cavicchia

Peter Cavicchia is a retired U.S. Secret Service Senior Executive, now Chairman of the security consulting firm Strategic Services International LLC. https://petecavicchia.com/

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