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Updates are Easy…and Necessary

There’s a reason why you should update your software on a regular basis. The updates fix security issues and other bugs. It’s an easy process. Just set up an automated routine and never worry about downloading and installing them. An example from a new client shows the consequences of neglect.

When we took on our new client, we were given a laundry list of issues. There’s nothing unusual about that because nobody changes their IT support provider unless there are a lot of problems. In working through the list, we found that their operating system had not been updated for months – nor had they updated their virus software.

To us, this is unbelievable. It’s also totally avoidable. Too many small offices and consumers think the updates are not important. We consider them absolutely necessary – and for small businesses and individuals, they may be even more vital than for larger systems. The reason is that mid-size and large businesses have dedicated IT staffs to monitor and maintain their systems. Smaller system owners rely on themselves and outside support providers to do that work. When that work is not done, IT systems are exposed to all sorts of vulnerabilities.

We monitor our clients’ systems, especially at update time; to make sure everything is in order and to let them know if there are issues. System security is the big thing. With so many types of hackers looking to either steal personal information or hold your files hostage for ransom, security simply has never been so important.

Along with your operating system and program files, it’s vitally important to update your virus and malware software. It’s easy to do.

Microsoft issues updates on the second Tuesday of the month – Patch Tuesday – generally in the afternoon. If you are set up for automatic updates, your computer will automatically download them within 24 to 48 hours. Your only obligation is to restart your computer for some of the updates to take effect.

Windows 7 and 8 users can refer to this article from Microsoft to set up your automatic updates, including whether you want to install them automatically or be notified so you can install them at the time of your choice. It’s a four-step process.

The only caution we have is to be careful of anyone contacting you out of the blue to fix your computer online. Microsoft and Apple, for example, will NEVER contact you about a problem with your computer. If you get an unsolicited email or call from someone who implies he or she can fix a problem with your computer, delete the email or hang up the phone call. If you are concerned about your computer system, call us.

If you have any questions about setting up automated Microsoft updates or determining which suggested updates to install – as opposed to those you must install – call us at 973-433-6676 or email us with your questions. We can help you set up an update program for all of your software applications.