Are you keeping up with updates? We don’t mean the latest world news or Packer injury reports. We mean updates for your Internet devices– your laptop, your tablet, your phone– even your smart TV and your Wi-Fi router. Updates are something we see popping up on our screens from time to time but we aren’t always sure if we should or shouldn’t be doing the updates — or even if we know we should be doing the updates, we aren’t always doing them!
Updates to software are necessary to protect our devices from threats but they also help our software and devices perform at their best, with the latest features and bug fixes. Software and device manufacturers regularly update their products to fix flaws or bugs, add new features, change instructions for processes to run more efficiently, add new security measures, or to simply change the cosmetic look of a GUI interface. These updates are often pushed “to” the device but few are run automatically, without the user’s acceptance of and allowance of the update process.
There are a few main types of updates:
- Operating System — these are the updates for Windows, Mac iOS, or Android. They are very important updates that you want to make sure get done. Not doing them can make you vulnerable to viruses, hacking, malware, or software glitches. You might also miss out on using programs/apps that require the latest updates in order to function.
- Program/Apps — these are the updates for the actual programs or apps that you run on your device. These are the games, web browsers, email programs, document programs, social apps, and whatever else you run on your device. The software developer releases regular updates to their programs for better security, performance, or features. These are not always *urgent* updates as many may be simply for activating new features and they may not even be programs/apps that you regularly use. But it is still a good idea to do these updates.
- Router/Hub — these are updates for the software running on your Internet connection hardware. If you have devices from TCC, then you don’t have to worry about it– we take care of these updates. If you have your own router or other hardware, then you may want to check the manufacturer’s website about doing updates. Updates are not as frequent for devices, but in the wake of certain threats that specifically target routers, you will want to make sure you are protected.
Common excuses for not doing updates:
Doesn’t apply to me
It’s working fine
I don’t have the time
I don’t want to be disturbed
I don’t shop or go to my bank account from this device
How to do updates:
Operating system updates will either appear on the screen or will make themselves apparent when you shut the device down. If there is a message on the screen, press the option to perform the update. If you absolutely do not want it doing the update at that moment, choose the option to remind you in an hour or tomorrow and then plan your device usage to allow the update to run the next time it asks.
Program/app updates are usually indicated by a mark on the program/app icon or on your App Store or Google Play Store icon. On the store icons, there is often a number representing the number of apps that have updates available. Go into the store and look for “updates” which is usually at the bottom. Press updates to see all of the apps with available updates. You can tap an individual app if you want to read more about the proposed update. You can usually deselect any updates you do not want to perform and another button to start doing the updates.
Router/Modem updates are something you would not see on any device screen automatically. Only someone who is connected to the device (or with access to it) would be able to see the updates and only when they log into the router/modem control panel. Consult the manufacturer’s website for instructions on doing updates. If your router/modem is provided by your Internet provider, it should be their responsibility to perform the updates.