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Software Updating

Mar 29, 2013

No matter your operating system, the chances are that once a month or more your computer, tablet of even your smartphone will need updating. If your PC or device is regularly connected to the internet, it will persistently prompt you to update your software.

Many people just blindly say yes to such updates, thinking that upgrading is the best way to keep their computer and its precious data secure. Although many people also dismiss the updates for a number of reasons, such as not wanting to restart their computer due to working on things or not being able to afford having their computer out of action for even 10-15 minutes.

A recent study drawing on statistics from 10 million Kaspersky Lab customers found that nearly one in four internet users are not using the latest browser version. Two thirds of those that haven’t upgraded are using the previous update or release while as many as a third are browsing the web on older versions.

The article highlighting the Kaspersky study appeared recently on UK web technology website The Register who also found Firefox users were the worst group at keeping their browser up to date when compared to Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Over 80 per cent of IE users are browsing on the latest version and nearly the same number for Chrome, yet surprisingly only 66 per cent of Firefox users are up to date.

Aside from benefits newer version of browsers and other software upgrades entail, upgraded security is touted the other main benefit of software updates. Within a couple of days, companies are able to patch their products to resist the latest viruses, worms and Trojans that can potentially obtain your details, steal your identity or your money.

It is surprising then, given the common assumption that updating software is the best way to remain secure that research coming out of Amsterdam presented byDIMVA last year found that there is no significant difference in the amount of malicious software present on patched and unpatched computers.

Despite these results, around the web there are still plenty of articles stating why you should upgrade your software, such as this one pointing out that new updates aim to increase productivity for the user. Given that the amount of malware on computers that have and haven’t received software updates remain largely the same, users shouldn’t worry about security when wanting to upgrade to take advantage of the new features of an update.

For more facts about what viruses, worms, keyloggers and other types of malicious software can do and how you can take preventative measures including installing anti-virus software, click here.

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