Even if you’re lucky enough to have a device that lasts forever – laptop computer, desktop computer, mobile phone, smart watch – the software that makes your device function will need to be updated at some point. This process must be completed regularly, otherwise you’re putting those devices, and the data they store, at risk.
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Skip to My Loss
Device notifications are like signs along the road – sometimes they pop up so frequently that it seems the best solution is to just bury your head in the sand and ignore them. Guess what’s more annoying than receiving a glut of update notifications? Having your device hacked.
I’m Losing You
Hackers aren’t just looking to throw a wrench in the works of your operating system with pesky viruses. They aggressively use technology to steal data and sell it to the highest bidder, and they can even take your system hostage and demand huge sums of money for its release – this is known as ransomware.
There is no surefire way to protect your digital property from bad actors, but regular security updates go a long way toward keeping you and your business safe.
The massive Equifax data breach of 2017, where 147 million Americans had their birthdays, Social Security numbers, and other personal information exposed, was the result of a system flaw that had been identified and solved two months prior to the breach. This mistake was much too large to dismiss with a “whoops.”
If the Equifax team had simply installed the available security update, then they would not have incurred the massive hit to their company, both financially and in brand reputation.
My Favorite Things
Operating systems and web browsers are the two items that most frequently call for updates, and sometimes the time and disk space required can make the process cumbersome.
However, those are just two of the many devices that now populate our homes and offices. They all require regular updates. We have entered an era of the “Internet of things,” meaning our lives are littered with objects that are connected to the web. Each and every one of these devices can be used by hackers as an entry-point to your valuable data. That means a web-connected toaster (you know you want one) can allow a hacker to take your network hostage just by being connected to the same Wi-Fi router as your other devices.
Connectivity can lead to increased productivity, but it also increases your vulnerability. Update your toaster. Update your watch. Update your phone.
That’s a lot of things to update. But it’s an easy task to accomplish if you don’t attempt to maintain all of your devices at once.
Let’s take a mobile phone as an example. According to TechCrunch, phone users access 9 applications a day, 30 applications a month, and they have 2-3 times more apps that they aren’t actively utilizing. All of these apps require regular refreshes, but most of these can be set to update automatically. This keeps you current, saves time, and limits your vulnerability.
For any devices or programs you use that don’t offer auto-updates, you should set a monthly calendar reminder to check for new fixes.
Updating your software and devices can address many of the problems that plague your day-to-day technology use. Battery performance, Wi-Fi connectivity, and more can be improved through system updates. Have you ever received a text message that contains a box with a question mark? That doesn’t mean the sender is inviting you to a game of Super Mario Bros. It means your device can’t display the sent data. You need an update.
Speaking of question marks: do you have other Internet problems you can’t solve? Informatics has been the leader in “All Things Internet” for over 20 years. Contact us today to make sure you and your team are getting the most out of your tech tools.