You are advised to download patches as soon as they become available.
Hackers find weaknesses in software and hardware (called vulnerabilities) that they exploit to access your computer, smartphone or tablet. Installing software and firmware updates can fix these vulnerabilities and help keep you secure.
Many software providers release patches and updates for their products to correct security concerns and improve functionality.
Most modern software and applications update automatically, but make sure you agree to install updates when prompted. Common software to keep updated include:
- operating systems, for example Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
- antivirus and security software
- browsers, for example Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome
- web plugins, for example Adobe Flash, Reader, Skype, Apple QuickTime, iTunes, Java, ActiveX
- other types of applications, for example Microsoft Office.
When you buy a new device, check for updates straight away as part of the initial set up, ensuring you enable automatic updates.
Originally published at Stay Smart Online and reproduced here under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.