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Updating Devices’ Software Can Help Avert Cyberactivity

By Robert Kuakini on Jan 17, 2023 1:31:07 PM

Tags: Cyber Security

We have all seen our phones and computers doing automatic updates at one point or another, but have you ever wondered what the importance of it is?

An automatic software update is a patch, correction or change that’s made to software and distributed through an automated push by the developer. Software updates can add new features or remove old, outdated ones, improve performance and address security flaws that you may not have been aware of.

Malicious individuals and cybercriminals often take advantage of out-of-date software when they attack because it’s a weak point, like a door with a broken lock. This can give them access to your data and, in more severe cases, control of your device. Your important files could be stolen or deleted. Losing your tax forms or that important photo you took years ago probably would be an unpleasant experience.

If you’re not keeping up with updates, your device may not be the only one affected. Many devices in the home and in the workplace are connected. Like the common cold, you could end up spreading a software virus to your friends, family or colleagues without knowing it.

  • Here are some general tips to keep your devices up to date and safe:
    Apply software updates promptly. If you see an update notification, click it. Better yet, turn on automatic updates so you don’t have to check for them and install them manually.

  • Don’t forget about automatic updates on connected devices like tablets, smartwatches, video game systems and security systems.

  • If you’re not getting updates, check with your vendors to see whether your device still can be updated. Sometimes support ends on older devices, which means no more updates are available, which could leave your device at risk. It may be time to get an upgrade if that’s the case.

Even when automatic updates are enabled, don’t let down your guard against cybersecurity threats. Even the most up-to-date system is not immune to threats and breaches.

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Robert Kuakini is a security engineer at Hawaiian Telcom. Reach him at robert.kuakini@hawaiiantel.com.

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