Keeping your operating system and applications up to date is one of the best ways to protect yourself from being hacked.
An update is a new, improved or safer version of a software.
All your personal or business devices including your phone, tablet, computer or laptop use software to run. Software includes:
Operating systems like Windows, Android and macOS
Apps on your phone
Games on your console
Your anti-virus, your browser or word processors at work.
Many software providers release these free updates for their products, to correct security concerns and improve functionality.
An automatic update is a default or ‘set and forget’ feature that updates your software as soon as an update is available.
Safer. Faster. Better.
Cybercriminals, malicious programs and viruses can find weaknesses in your software (called vulnerabilities) to access your device. Software providers release updates for their products to correct security concerns and improve functions. Installing regular updates fixes these vulnerabilities to improve your protection and your business’s protection from loss of money, data and identity.
Installing software updates as soon as they become available limits the amount of time cybercriminals have to find and use these weaknesses.
Updates also provide enhanced features and efficiencies for programs and apps.
Anti-virus software requires regular signature updates to remain effective.
Anti-virus software requires regular signature updates to remain effective. Anti-virus updates generally occur daily and most applications will default to installing automatically.
Setting up automatic updates
- Turn on or confirm auto-updates, especially for operating systems.
- Regularly check for and install updates ASAP if auto-updates are unavailable, especially for software.
- Install updates as soon as possible (if auto-updates unavailable).
- Set a convenient time for auto-updates to avoid disruptions to business as usual.
- If you use anti-virus software, ensure automatic updates are turned on.
NOTE: If your hardware or software is too old it may not auto-update and leave your business susceptible to technical, software and security issues.
Where do I turn it on?
How to turn on automatic updates can differ depending on your operating system and your programs.
This guide steps you through turning on automatic updates on a desktop computer or mobile device using Microsoft Windows 10.
Microsoft provides regular updates for Windows 10.
Windows Update is free and provides the latest security and other important updates from Microsoft automatically (including updates for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Edge).
Automatic updates are turned on by default in Windows 10.
Updating your Android software is easy – just wait for the notification to appear.
Notifications are sent when updates for Android are available. Please note that Android update notifications can sometimes be delayed.
For detailed information on Android updates visit:
Google support website
Android security bulletins
your service provider
Apple generally provides updates for the latest and immediately previous versions of their operating system, but not for older versions.
For detailed information visit the Apple website:
- Apple OS X Support (PC)
- Apple iOS Support (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).
It’s very important that you regularly download and install updates for web plugins and other vulnerable software too – such as Adobe products and Java.
Vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash, for example, are some of the most popularly-targeted by hackers for exploitation. Automatic updates are available for these products, but ideally uninstall Adobe Flash to limit this risk.
For detailed information on updates for plugins and other software visit your vendor’s website, or select from some of the popular plugin vendors below:
- Adobe bulletins and advisories
- Java updates