5 reasons why general software updates and patches are important
You’re probably no stranger to those little pop-up windows. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
You might be tempted to click on that “Remind me later” button. Don’t do it. Or, at least don’t put off updating your software for long.
Software updates are important to your digital safety and cyber security. The sooner you update, the sooner you’ll feel confident your device is more secure — until the next update reminder.
Why are software updates so important? There are a lot of reasons. Here are 5 that show why it’s important to update software regularly.
1. Software updates do a lot of things
Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.
While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to make sure your operating system is running the latest version.
2. Updates help patch security flaws
Hackers love security flaws, also known as software vulnerabilities. A software vulnerability is a security hole or weakness found in a software program or operating system. Hackers can take advantage of the weakness by writing code to target the vulnerability. The code is packaged into malware — short for malicious software.
An exploit sometimes can infect your computer with no action on your part other than viewing a rogue website, opening a compromised message, or playing infected media.
What happens next? The malware can steal data saved on your device or allow the attacker to gain control over your computer and encrypt your files.
Software updates often include software patches. They cover the security holes to keep hackers out.
3. Software updates help protect your data
You probably keep a lot of documents and personal information on your devices. Your personally identifiable information — from emails to bank account information — is valuable to cybercriminals.
They can use it to commit crimes in your name or sell it on the dark web to enable others to commit crimes. If it’s a ransomware attack, they might encrypt your data. You might have to pay a ransom for an encryption key to get it back. Or, worse, you might pay a ransom and not get it back.
Updating your software and operating systems helps keep hackers out.
4. It’s not all about you
OK, cyber security is mostly about you, but you’ve got other people to think about, too. If your device gets a virus, you could pass it on to your friends, family, and business associates. That’s why you want to keep your software and systems updated.
A trusted security program such as Norton 360TM can help keep your devices secure. And that can potentially help all those people you interact with online. But it’s also important to know anti-virus protection isn’t enough to protect your devices against all cyberthreats
5. You deserve the latest and greatest
Updates not only patch security holes, they can also add new features and improve existing ones. You don’t want to fall behind the times, right?
In that way, software updates really are all about you. Your software program may get a new shot of stability — no more crashing. Or an update might boost program performance — more speed. You deserve no less.
You could ignore those reminders to update your software, but you might be missing out on a lot, starting with your cyber security.
Another option? If you’re still not keen on clicking “Update now,” you may be able to configure your devices to update automatically. If so, your problem is solved.
Device security, Dark Web Monitoring powered by LifeLock and a VPN–up to 60% off*
NEW Norton 360 has multiple layers of protection including a VPN for online privacy.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Norton LifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
Copyright © 2019 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
No one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime. Not all products, services and features are available on all devices or operating systems. System requirement information on norton.com.
*Important Subscription, Pricing and Offer Details:
- The price quoted today may include an introductory offer. After that, your membership will automatically renew and be billed at the applicable monthly or annual renewal price found here.
- You can cancel your subscription at my.norton.com or by contacting Member Services & Support. For more details, please visit the Refund Policy.
- Your subscription may include product, service and /or protection updates and features may be added, modified or removed subject to the acceptance of the Customer Agreement.
The number of supported devices allowed under your plan are primarily for personal or household use only. Not for commercial use. If you have issues adding a device, please contact Member Services & Support.
§ Dark Web Monitoring in Norton 360 plans defaults to monitor your email address only. Please login to the portal to review if you can add additional information for monitoring purposes.