How often have you seen a notification pop-up on your phone or computer indicating you are due for a software update? Usually, a message will display that reads something like this: This application has an update. Would you like to install it now or later?

How many times do you click on the “later” option? Be honest. Everyone does it because it always seems to appear at the worst possible time. That notification usually pops up in the middle of a project and requires a complete restart of the device, so we understand why you might not want to interrupt your flow. However, it’s also important to point out the vital purpose of those updates reminders. 

Reasons to Update

Despite how it may feel, updates are not put in place to annoy you. There are several critical reasons why an application will make an update:

  • Introduce new features
  • Fix a glitch in the software operations
  • Repair a possible vulnerability
  • Patch an urgent, known vulnerability

Let’s take a look at each of these reasons to understand them better. 

New Features

An application that continues to improve its functionality will offer routine updates to make improvements. This often happens with gaming software and new applications. Sometimes these updates occur monthly, or sometimes only a few times a year. You’ll usually get a notice telling you that a new version is ready to download or that a feature won’t be available unless the latest version is downloaded. While this type of update may not feel urgent, it is beneficial to use if you want to enjoy the full experience of the program.  

Fix a Glitch

A software update might also be introduced to fix a glitch in the programming. Sometimes glitches are noted by the developers themselves. At other times, the users are the ones to complain about a feature that doesn’t work correctly. A responsive software company dedicated to serving its users will monitor for complaints and comments and fix the most requested problems. Usually, an update report will tell you what changes have been made to improve your experience. 

Possible Vulnerabilities

When cyberattacks are discovered, software companies and developers will typically assess their code and reinforce their programming to protect their products from potential attacks. Most major software companies offer several updates a year to address security concerns. These updates will happen regardless of whether that software is vulnerable or not. These types of changes are pre-emptive. 

Emergency Vulnerabilities

An urgent patch to a known vulnerability is usually newsworthy, especially for larger companies. If Google or Microsoft is experiencing a breach in their software, putting millions of user information at risk, then the story will make headlines. In these cases, urgent repairs are made by the company, a new version is pushed to the public, and alerts are sent out to users through their devices and emails requesting an immediate update of the application. 

Google Chrome’s Recent Patch

An example of an emergency system patch came at the end of March when Google issued an urgent statement regarding a recent update to their internet browser, Chrome. It was discovered that a vulnerability in the software update was known by hackers and offered an immediate window for cybercriminals to exploit data from Chrome users. The company issued an emergency alert to users to update their browsers as soon as possible to fix the problem and prevent user data from being stolen. 

Are you a Chrome user? Did you see the update? Hopefully, if you are, your system automatically updates your browser during routine shutdowns and restarts of your device. If you’re not sure, open your browser and check your security settings. If you require an update, your settings will let you know. 

Cyber Security Experts in Edmonton

Hiring Alt-Tech Inc. as your managed service provider for your business will help you ensure your business software and applications are always up-to-date. There’ll be no more notifications to ignore or reset. We’ll take care of that for you, along with network monitoring, infrastructure design, and data management.