Updates are to technology as food is to us; it’s good for you but you could survive without it for some time. After a while, however, things start to fall apart. Software updates are important because they improve three key areas: they resolve issues like bugs, patch holes and keep any references or databases up to date. These are important to stay safe and current in a technical world.
It is possible to go without updating software or even operating systems. However this would leave you open to stability issues, security vulnerabilities or outdated information. One of the greater outbreaks of ransomware (also known as a crypto virus) this year “WannaCry” propagated by using Windows Server Message Block (SMB) protocols exploit. Installing an update patch released by Microsoft plugged the exploit, stopping the virus. The irony of the name of this virus was not lost on those infected, most certainly making them want to cry!
Now I hear those out there saying “but my applications are all online running as Web Applications (WebApps). Why should I care?” Great question! The answer is simple: because hackers, malware and vulnerabilities don’t care. Is it worth your time to be cleaning up, or even reinstalling windows, because a crypto virus attacked you? Worse yet, what if a hacker gained access to your machine because of an exploit and stole your personal information? Those issues aside, updating generally keeps things running smoothly and helps keep software and OS’s stable.
I believe (and if the above didn’t scare you) one of the greatest reasons for keeping up to date software is access to improvements and new features. Updating can also be a necessity due to changes outside of your control, especially if you’re using WebApps. For example, if you were still using Internet Explorer 6, you wouldn’t be able to visit most websites on the internet today. Why? Purely because some of the standards from the web have changed and thus so did the browsers. If you would like to keep visiting Facebook, or maintain access to online accounting software you should keep your software up to date.
Updates won’t fix human error, like clicking on that zip file attached to the AusPost email. They most certainly won’t replace a need for Anti-Virus (different discussion for a different day). What they will do is fix those accidental vulnerabilities in the software and keep you up to date with feature releases to allow you to continue to access content.
With our fast paced technical world, why would you not want to update and be left behind?
If you have any questions about updating or configuring updates for Windows or your applications, reach out and leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.