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Updating Software

Keeping your software up to date can help keep you safe. Outdated software can hold flaws and vulnerabilities that cybercriminals exploit to steal your personal data, so it is important that you run software updates. The updates provide fixes for bugs and exploited vulnerabilities to ensure the device will continue to run smoothly while maintaining your security. 

Before downloading any software or updates, make sure you know the source. Updates should be received from the device, software, or app developer itself. Software that isn’t from these sources may contain malware, viruses, or other threats to your network, so it is best to go directly to the source.

If you encounter a pop-up window that urgently requests you download a software update, don’t take the bait. These are phishing attempts that often occur on unsecure websites and can signify that there is already malware on your machine. Check your web browser to make sure the site you are visiting is secure before downloading any software. 

Make checking for software updates a habit. For most software, you will be notified when updates are available. Consider turning on automatic updates so that you don’t need to manually check for them. You can also schedule them to install during hours that are convenient to you, like during the middle of the night or late afternoon hours. 

If automatic updates are not turned on, it is important to manually check for updates at least once a month. Even better, get into the practice of checking for updates on your device at least once a week. This practice can help mitigate risks while keeping your device safe. 

If your device has software that is unsupported, consider removing it. Continued use of software that has reached end-of-life can pose potential security risks to your device and decrease system performance.

Updating your software is a simple behavior that has lasting effects. Secure your devices today by making sure they are up to date, and don’t forget about software connected to all devices, including e-readers, smartwatches, and home speakers.