Those update requests often happen out of the blue. You’re working on something, then suddenly you’re interrupted by a request for an operating system or application update.
Instead of stopping what they’re doing, many people just click away the request until later and get on with their day.
But, what if “later” doesn’t come for a while? How big of a deal is it if you don’t keep your computer updated regularly?
50% of people allow 45-days to go by before installing an update.
Not installing an update can leave your system vulnerable to an attack. For example, the famous WannaCry ransomware attack back in 2017 targeted a vulnerability in the Windows operating system. Although emergency patches were released by Microsoft just a few days after the discovery of WannaCry, many did not apply those patches right away, and it’s estimated that over 200,000 computers in 150 different countries were impacted by the malware, causing billions of dollars in losses.
Computer updates may be inconvenient, but they’re a vital part of keeping any system protected from attacks. That’s why many people sign up for a managed IT services plan that takes care of all their computer updates for them.
Let’s take a look at what all those computer updates are and what you’re missing out on if you don’t apply them regularly.
Types of Computer Updates
You’ll typically have three types of system updates that need to be done on your Mac or PC. Some give “in your face” update requests and for others, you might have to go looking for the updates.
The types of updates are as follows:
Operating System Updates: For your Windows or macOS operating system
Software/Application Updates: For any applications you use, like Word, Skype, etc.
Firmware Updates: For software that controls your computer’s hardware, like graphic card, BIOS, etc.
The most obvious of the three is usually the OS updates, which tend to pop up in a screen prompt when there is a new update to install. The software updates will usually come up when you open the program with a message about a new update waiting, but some can prompt in a similar way to an OS update.
The ones that are usually the quietest, but still need regular updating are firmware updates. Sometimes, you’ll need to open a specific application (i.e. HP Support Assistant on HP computers) to access and apply these updates.
Here’s Why You Need to Keep Your Computer Updated
As inconvenient as an update may be at the time the prompt comes up, it’s important that you install them in a timely manner for a number of reasons.
Your Computer Security
60% of data breaches in 2019 happened because of unapplied security patches contained in updates. Some of the biggest breaches related to unapplied updates include firms like Equifax, The Home Depot, and Uber.
Hackers are continually exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access to computers and networks, and OS and software makers issue patches as fast as possible to keep up. But if the patch has been issued, but never applied to your computer, then your system is left vulnerable.
Updates often contain fixes to bugs in programs. While bugs aren’t the same as a security vulnerability, they can be inconvenient. An example of one of the more famous bugs that impacted iPhones in 2015 was a bug where sending a certain sequence of characters as text to another iPhone would cause a crash of the receiving phone.
If you’re not applying updates regularly, then you’ll be left with bugs in your system or software that could easily be alleviated.
You’ll often receive feature upgrades in operating system updates. While not all updates are packed with new features, there is usually one or two a year that will come with some helpful upgrades.
For example, a feature update for Windows 10 in 2019, included compatibility for pairing an Android phone with a PC so you could text from the screen and a new universal search feature that searches web, files, photos, and system settings all at the same time.
Not installing those updates can mean you miss out on some helpful and cool upgrades to your operating system or software.
Compatibility with New Devices
As technology evolves, often operating systems need to update their software and firmware to ensure compatibility with new devices. If you haven’t applied a firmware update, you might buy a new video camera and find you have problems getting it to work correctly with your PC that would’ve been eliminated if you’d have only updated your computer.
Get Help Managing Your Updates from Pro Tech Guy
Managing updates, especially if it’s for multiple business computers, can be time consuming. You can save time, increase your data security, and ensure your systems are updated correctly by signing up for managed updates through Pro Tech Guy.
Contact us today to set up a custom managed IT plan. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.