If you are not regularly performing security updates on your PC, you could be putting your PC at risk. A Skype survey shows that 40% of consumers don’t update their software as soon as an update is available. If this sounds familiar, here’s why you should always perform security updates right away.
Security updates are released to patch software vulnerabilities that can leave your computer open to malware. They ensure that loopholes in the software code get fixed so they can’t be exploited by hackers. As a bonus, security updates often result in improved performance, minimizing issues like crashing and unresponsiveness.
Some companies regularly release security updates, others only release them when needed. For example, Microsoft, releases a Windows update every second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday) to improve features or fix known issues. However, if a software flaw could have serious consequences for the computer or user, Microsoft will release an update right away. “Serious consequences” can be defined as causing damage to software or the computer, or resulting in data theft.
Updates Across Applications
While it’s important to perform Windows security updates, it isn’t the only program you have to worry about. Keep all software, particularly browsers and plugins, up-to-date. Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader and Java have been known to compromise security in the past when updates are not applied. Be sure to pay special attention to update notifications that you receive for these plugins. Or better yet, disable plugins that you are not using.
It’s always a good idea to have an antivirus program running real-time protection and weekly scans to catch malware that could get through unpatched holes. Make sure that you are using a program that blocks threats in real-time and quarantines malicious files. That being said, an AV won’t always protect you against attackers. A flaw in the code could act as a backdoor and allow a hacker to get into your system without detection. If this happens, they could install other points of entry to your system and come and go as they please.
The easiest way to protect your computer and your personal information is to perform security updates as soon as they are available.