If there is a hole, someone will find it. So fix it
Just as your car needs servicing to keep it running smoothly, your computer needs regular updates to keep it running smoothly online. Over time, security loop-holes can be found in operating systems and the software that runs on them, and these holes need closing to keep your system and personal information safe.
Update your operating system:
The newest version of any operating system is generally the safest one to use so when a new version is released consider upgrading. You can increase the safety of older equipment by installing all the updates or security patches provided by the company.
Update your software and ‘helper programs’:
Every piece of software you have installed on your system may also need updating to close known security holes. The most important software to check is the common applications that help you view online content and complete tasks such as reading PDF files or playing videos. Java and Adobe Reader and Flash are installed on millions of computers and this popularity makes them a common target for cyber criminals – make sure you have the latest versions. It’s also important to update your anti-virus software and to always use the latest version of your web browserto avoid falling victim to infected websites.
Set up auto-updates
New threats are always being identified, so, where possible, set your system and software to automatically update in future.
- If you run a small business network, Microsoft has advice on Windows ServerUpdate Services (WSUS)
- Windows 7: learn more about updating your computer and Windows Update
- Windows Vista: review Microsoft’s Security and Safety information
- Windows XP: how to protect your PC
- How to turn on automatic updates for Windows
- Read Apple’s advice on updating the OS X operating system and associated software
- Watch the video from Symantec below to understand how not updating can leave your computer open to vulnerabilities such as ‘drive by downloads’.