Computer Security Updates

Keeping up with computer security updates is one of the best ways to increase the security of your computer.

Running the latest and most up-to-date versions of software applications considerably increases your computer security. Most software companies continuously issue computer security updates for their software. You should update all software applications on your computer as often as possible.

Why Update Your Computer Software?

Most software companies produce mediocre software at best. There are many reasons for this. If we had to oversimplify it, it is generally because:

  • Writing software is complex and time-consuming
  • Managing software development is both science and art
  • Software companies cut corners to save money and release software applications sooner

Rare is a company that creates robust and secure software.

Regardless of quality, all software has defects. They are called bugs. After a bug is discovered, a software company will issue a bug fix. To the computer user like you and me this is presented in a form of a software application update, or a new version of a program.

Many such updates are computer security updates. Companies release security updates when they discover a defect that is serious enough to affect the security of the software application. For example, they may discover that cyber thieves can use a particular feature of the software to break into your computer or steal your personal information and data.

This is why it is very important to keep your computer - the operating system and software applications - up-to-date.

The most secure and efficient way of updating your computer software is by letting it self-update.

Operating System Updates

Computer security updates for your operating system (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux) can and should be automatic.

This is when you see a pop-up on your computer saying something like "Your computer has been updated, please restart it." You should restart your computer as soon as you can. Save your open files and documents first.

Software companies fix their software as soon as they can, but that it still far behind the cyber thieves that are in the meantime using the software defect to break into computers and steal data. The longer you wait to update your computer, the longer your computer is at risk of being broken into.

The computer operating system is not fully updated with software fixes until you restart your computer.

In addition, if you don’t restart your computer after your operating system has been updated, you may run into all sorts of strange problems that you will not think are related to not restarting after updates.

Restart your computer when it wants you to. You will increase your computer security and avoid strange computer behavior caused by it not being in a consistent state.

Internet Web Browser Updates

Your Internet browser (Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari) probably already has the self-update feature enabled. This means the web browser knows when the new version is available, and it downloads it automatically.

After your web browser updates itself, it will ask you to restart it. Don’t delay and restart it as soon as possible. Defective or insecure web browser increases the risk of a cyber criminal breaking into your computer.

The Internet web browser self-update feature checks for updates from time to time. You can force the check if you think a new version is available. For example, to force Mozilla Firefox to check if there is a new version available press [ALT] + [H] keys (on a Windows computer), and then select “About Firefox”.

An “About Mozilla Firefox” window will pop up. If you have the latest version, you will see “Firefox is up to date”. Otherwise, it will download a new version and update itself next time you re-start the browser.

Restart the web browser right away to have it upgrade itself to the latest and most secure version.

Other Software Updates

You probably have other software installed on your computer. Common applications include Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office suite of applications, Skype, video and audio media players and so on. The updating strategies mentioned above apply to all other software applications installed on your computer.

If a particular software application does not have a self-update feature, check if there is a new version yourself. If it asks you to restart the program or your computer, do it right away. Go through this exercise at least twice a year.

Don’t forget to update your mobile phones and tablets. As with computer software applications, update them as often as you can.

Computer Security Updates

You may be using a number of software applications on your computer. These software applications probably have security defects from time to time that get fixed by the software company. You have to keep up with these computer security updates to increase the security of your computer.

Internet software like web browsers, email software, chat, social media and similar network applications are the most important to keep up to date. So is your computer operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux), which acts as a gatekeeper to all your computer software applications.

Think about the software applications you are using, and all the software that is installed on your computer. Do you need all these applications? Are you using them? If the answer is no, remove them from your computer.

The less software applications you have installed on your computer, the more secure your computer is.

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