Explainers

Say Yes to Software Updates

May 16th, 2019

A prompt to restart your computer or phone for a software update usually leads to a groan and a vow to do it later. And then later comes and you…vow to do it later, again.

Here’s a tip: Do it now, not later.

The reason for updates (yes, they’re tedious) has a lot to do with the current state of digital defenses and making sure all users and their data always stay as safe as possible.

According to McAfee, which sells security products for business and personal computers, there’s a constant need to patch security holes simply because there are constantly new threats always facing users. This is becoming increasingly crucial as we do more and more of our business—and living—online. One infected computer in a chain of information could potentially infect hundreds or thousands.

Software Updates Are There to Help

In some cases, software updates include new defenses against specific malware or viruses. These are often the more critical “do this now” warnings. In other cases, an upgrade might include improved system software that can better block general threats and improve the defenses of a particular operating system or anti-virus program.

Norton, another security firm, shares a similar message that these patches are always vital, and the worst thing a user can do is keep on hitting “remind me later.” In some cases, threats can move quickly from computer to computer, so the best defense is to keep on top of everything. Norton specifically points out that these types of “restart now” messages aren’t intended to bug parents and annoy kids, but to keep everyone safe.

Overall, security experts will tell you that there’s a constant dynamic between threats and efforts to combat them, and upgrades/patches are an effective way to deliver these, whether you like them or not.   

To reiterate: When your computer or mobile device suggests a software update, do it.

. . .