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The importance of general software updates and patches


Written by a NortonLifeLock employee

 

We all get them from time to time- those little windows that pop up, notifying us that there are software updates available for our computer. Chances are, these always seem to present themselves right when we are in the middle of doing something seemingly important, so it’s all too convenient to click on that “Remind Me Later” button. Later eventually rolls around, and our little pop-up friend is back once again, nagging us to install these updates and restart our computer. And just like during their last visit, we’re right in the middle of something, and the cycle continues. However, that notification is not there just to pester us. There is actually significant importance in updating our software.

Why Should I Install Updates?

Software updates perform a myriad of tasks. They are available for both our operating system and individual software programs. Performing these updates will deliver a multitude of revisions to your computer, such as adding new features, removing outdated features, updating drivers, delivering bug fixes, and most importantly, fixing security holes that have been discovered.

The Dangers Of Software Vulnerabilities

A software vulnerability is usually a security hole or weakness found in an operating system or software program. Hackers exploit this weakness by writing code to target a specific vulnerability, which is packaged into malware. These exploits can infect your computer with no action on your part other than viewing a website, opening a compromised message, or playing infected media.

Once it infects your computer, this malware can then steal data, allow the attacker to gain control over your computer, and even use software in a way that it was not originally intended.

So even though these software updates seem like a hassle, think of it as a preventative measure for your Internet safety. Next time that message comes up to update, resist procrastination and go ahead and hit that “Install Now” button.


Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.