It’s important to keep your software up to date because updates enhance existing features, patch security flaws, add new security features, fix bug issues and improve performance for devices.
Continue reading to learn more about software updates and how you can check if your software is up to date.
What Are Software Updates?
Software updates are when new updates are available for your devices’ software that either fix or improve it. For example, when your phone requires a software update, small updates usually fix bug issues or patch security flaws that were missed in the previous update. Big software updates usually offer new features or improve existing ones, while also fixing bug issues and patching security flaws.
What Softwares Updates Do and Why They’re Important
Here are a few things that software updates provide for your devices.
Enhance and add new features
Most people think that software updates only add new features, but this isn’t the case. While one of the purposes of updates is to enhance and add new features to your devices, there’s more to software updates than you might think. Software should be updated whenever a new one becomes available, not only when an update includes a new feature.
Patch security flaws and add new security features
What most people don’t know is that software updates also patch security flaws that may be present in previous versions. They also add new security features that can keep your devices better protected from cyber threats.
When a software update isn’t installed, security flaws are not patched, which opens up a backdoor for cybercriminals. These security flaws act as holes that can make it easier for cybercriminals to infect your devices with malicious software, also known as malware. Unpatched security flaws also increase the risk of having your data stolen and your accounts compromised.
Fix bug issues
Prior to the full deployment of a software update, it can be difficult for developers to identify every bug before they release the update to the public. Once an update is released, these remaining bugs are easier to identify and fix because users report them and companies can leverage bug bounty programs such as Bugcrowd to reward people for finding them. However, even after being identified, bugs are not fixed until the new update is released for users to install on their devices.
Since software updates add new features, improve existing ones and fix bug issues, they can also aid your devices in running smoother because of overall performance improvements. If you wait to install software updates, you may even notice that your device will start to run slower.
So, how can you make sure that your devices’ software is up to date?
How to Check if Your Software is Up to Date
You can check if your device’s software is up to date by going into the settings of your device and looking for the “software update” section. Here is how you can check if your software is up to date on different devices.
- On Apple devices, you can find software updates by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
- On Android devices such as a Galaxy, you can find software updates by going to Settings and tapping on Software Update or System Update. It varies by model. The same logic can be used to find software updates on other Android devices.
- On Windows devices, you can find software updates by going to Settings and locating the Windows Update section. Once there, you can click the button “Check for updates” and see if your software and system are up to date.
How to Update Your Software
Once you locate and check your device’s software update settings, it’ll give you the option to update your software if it hasn’t been updated already. All you have to do is click the “update” button and it will begin to install.
If you’d rather have your software update on its own, there should be an option to allow it to automatically update in your device’s software update settings.
- On Apple devices, this is called “Automatic Updates” and can be turned on or off at any given time. Once automatic updates are on, you’ll receive a notification before the update is installed on iOS.
- On Android devices, when you’ve located the Software Update section, there should be an option for automatic updates to download when connected to Wi-Fi. These settings can be turned on or off at any time.
- On Windows devices, automatic system and software updates are set by default. However, you may want to schedule your active hours. You can do this by going into your Windows Update settings and clicking Advanced Options. Once there, locate Active Hours and set a time for when you’re busy. This ensures your windows device won’t restart during those set times.
In order for your software to successfully update, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Your device has to be connected to a secure Wi-Fi network for an update to install.
- Your device must have enough storage space for an update.
- Ensure that you back-up your data before an update is made.
- Even with automatic updates, you should still regularly check if your device is up to date to ensure that automatic updates are working properly.
The Bottom Line
Keeping your software up to date is one of many cybersecurity best practices that you should follow in your everyday life. Besides software updates on your devices, you should also ensure that you’re updating other applications, as well as keeping up with hardware and operating system updates on devices that require them. If you currently have protection software installed, keeping that up to date is also vital to protecting your online security.