Did you know that even software security experts don't always upgrade
their software when a new version comes out?
Up to 40% of security administrators don't prioritize updating their software. So it's no big surprise that the average software user doesn't upgrade as often as they should either.
However, with the worldwide release of so many large ransomware attacks like WannaCry in the last few years, we should all take upgrading more seriously. Fearmongering aside, there are actually some great benefits to upgrading software when new versions are released. Often, bugs that you didn't even realize were slowing you down will be fixed and new features could be added.
Here are the top 6 reasons why you should always be upgrading your software to the latest version.
1. Cyber Crime Is on the Rise
It seems like every week, we hear another major news story about a ransomware attack
that's affected a huge system. Unfortunately, there are just as many talented programmers as there are hackers who know the common mistakes that programmers will make.
The longer a piece of software is out, the longer hackers have to find bugs and issues to exploit. This can allow hackers to worm their way into your system without you even knowing. Often, the exploitable entry points for a major piece of software are made public so that users can be aware and so that software companies are implored to fix them.
Software companies then release a new version of their software to address these security issues.
The balance between hackers and software programmers is an endless cycle of cat and mouse. Unfortunately, our personal data often hangs in the balance.
2. Personal Data Is At Risk
As more and more of our everyday business is done online, we end up placing our most sensitive financial data up for grabs from nefarious hackers. Thankfully, most browsers and firewall software companies hire the best and brightest programmers to stay a step ahead of hackers.
Even so, an email sent to one person at a company can have terrifying results if everyone at that company isn't on the same page. Without everyone taking the same severe security measures, everyone is at risk. Computers at most companies are often networked together and even with loose security measures, they can all be put at risk by the right virus.
Hackers can get ahold of personal information or important corporate or government data and hold people hostage for it. Each time a major virus is released, software developers scramble to fix that problem. Staying on top of each release will keep you at the front of the pack, safe and secure.
3. You Might Not Be Updating Automatically
Hackers have more power than you might think. Before hackers unleash a major attack on a network, they could actually go into key machines on a system and disable antivirus software.
This is an extremely serious issue as it signals that cybercriminals could gain access to your machine and wander around the network without being noticed. Always check that you have the latest software. The easiest way that a hacker can get in is through a bug on a piece of old software.
4. Malware Passes Like the Flu
Thankfully email viruses don't pass through commercial email services like Gmail and Yahoo the way they used to in the past. However, they can be passed through smaller networks like a work email server or a local network.
An infected USB drive can be simply plugged into your machine and spread the infection.
A software upgrade can help you avoid this issue. Some antivirus software will send you live alerts when it suspects issues have arisen. Synchronizing software with your email server could mean that you could have all of your work emails automatically scanned for issues.
5. New Features
While security is a major reason to upgrade software and can't be overstated, there are some cool benefits to software updates. Often you'll see improved functionality and increased ease of use.
Since the user is the center of the developer's universe, they want to make your experience better with every release. You'll find user experience and user interaction will improve with most new software releases.
When you upgrade, you'll likely receive a prompt telling you all about the new release. Next time you update, read through the information provided by the software company. You might find that there are some cool new and improved features that either you didn't expect or solve a problem you didn't realize could be fixed.
There is a lot to enjoy when a great developer releases a new version of just about any software.
6. Support Might End
Have you ever called technical support and had to answer whether or not you'd recently updated a piece of software? Depending on the company, your answer will determine whether or not you're eligible for support.
A few years ago, Windows decided they wanted to stop supporting XP. After supporting it for nearly 20 years, it was a reasonable request. However, they didn't realize just how many commercial banks were basing their ATM software
on Windows XP-based systems.
This sent a bit of a shockwave through the financial market as well as through the confidence of any customer who suddenly felt at risk. When a company decides to stop supporting a piece of software, it means that fewer users are using that old software than are financially viable to maintain.
Stay in the good graces of your favorite software companies by getting over your nostalgia and supporting their new releases.
A Software Upgrade Is Good for You
There are so many important reasons to upgrade your software whenever a company announces a release. If you're more than 2 versions behind, you might as well be sitting at your desk waiting for hackers to get into your data.
If you're ready for an upgrade but not sure where to start, contact us
for more information.