Patches and Updates… Are They Really Necessary?

by News Editor on July 30th, 2013 in Security Tips.

We've all encountered it. We’re all familiar with it… We’ve all seen those irritating alerts when using our computers. Those pop up messages that are continuously popping up at the bottom right corner of your screen. Ahhhh…. The joys of software updates.

Every software or programs installed seem to require updates every so often. There are also a number of software that needs a daily definition update. These instances can particularly get very frustrating considering the frequency in which updates are needed… however, they are yet an important element of any software experience.

Software patches serve a very important role beyond annoyed computer users. Their intended purpose is to quickly push out fixes to bugs that may be occurring and create a safe computer environment. When you browse the internet, your computer is at the mercy of its current protective measures. Viruses, malware and rootkits are always on the search for security holes to exploit and gain entry to your personal data. While the best antivirus software would prevent this from ever happening, in order to accomplish such a goal you need to perform recommended updates.

So are these updates really necessary? The answer is YES. A computer, like a car or your very own body, requires maintenance from time to time. System patches and updates do a number of things to ensure that your operating system and/or third party software run safely and efficiently. Simply put, software updates whether big or small are important.

Viruses are ever-evolving, which too means your operating system, antivirus and other applications should continuously evolve as well. It’s quite easy to ignore system updates for a while and fall behind the times, becoming vulnerable to new threats.

Updates serve a number of different yet important functions:

•    Fix security holes
•    Optimize the utilization of resources on the operating system
•    Add newer and more secure features
•    Remove old and unprotected features
•    Update drivers to increase software efficiency

Patching is meant largely as a preventative measure rather than a curative one. While you may not always be aware of future or present threats, the developers who produce these updates make their livelihood in knowing about these risks.

Software patches and updates serve a very obvious function, despite how annoying their delivery vehicle may be. Getting those alerts may feel like having a fly always buzzing around your head, but they’re a necessary annoyance. No one likes going to the doctor, but as with software updates, it needs to happen to prevent sickness and disease. Keeping your software updated to the most recent version could save your computer and your personal information.

Staying on top of system patches and updates is essential to keeping your computing environment safe from viruses, malware, and rootkits. These cyber  bad guys search for security holes that they can exploit. System patches and updates help plug these holes, leaving the bad guys out in the cold.