PC Security – Updating Software

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Your personal “attack surface” has dangerous gaps if your PC software isn’t up to date

Keep software (operating system, web browser, apps, …) up to date on all devices using only the native auto-update feature.

Most modern personal computer operating systems offer, as standard, a suite of security and privacy functions. The Windows® suite includes most of the standard features, including access control, antivirus, firewall, backup, parental control and storage/disk tune-up. MacOS® includes access control, backup (Time Machine), firewall, storage tuneup and location control as standard features.

Several commercial offerings compete, from companies such as Norton, McAfee and Bitdefender. Based on PC Magazine’s review, the commercial competitors are generally superior to “pre-installed” offerings. Some commercial suites include additional functions, such as a password manager and a VPN.

It may seem inconvenient, but relent when your personal computer asks to update your operating system software. Keeping it up to date can be crucial in maintaining the security of your device(s). Running an out-of-date application is dangerous as there are security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit to take over your device and steal your information. So, always keep your software up to date on your smartphone or personal computer. This is easily done, if you make sure automatic updates are turned on for all devices and software.

This recommendation to keep software up to date includes diverse applications that you may use regularly, for example iTunes and Adobe Acrobat. Manually update applications that don’t update automatically.

A clever aid for what may seem to be an impossible job of application maintenance for Windows users is the ninite application (https://www.ninite.com ). Select the apps you wish to track, from a menu of over 70 (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Skype, Filezilla), then download/install ninite and it will automatically keep them up to the latest level.

CyberGuardian: a SecureTheVillage Guide for Residents is available on Amazon.
A complete Security Checklist is available: https://www.nerdsiview.com/security-checklist-2/
References for Village Residents are available at: https://securethevillage.org/residents
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© Alan Steven Krantz 2021