Did you know that one of the most important security steps you can take begins right at your own computer? That step is running critical updates for all your devices – phones, desktop and laptop computers, and tablets – as soon as possible after they are made available. If you have IT staff at work, they probably handle all this for you. And you should check your personal devices for updates as well.
It’s easy to just click “ignore” when you see “pop-ups” and messages on your computer or phone alerting you to an available update or new version of software you use and think you’ll get to it later. Here’s why you shouldn’t. Critical updates are released by computer operating system and software providers – such as Microsoft and Apple – that add security features or fix security loopholes that have been discovered in their software. They can update your operating system, software, or drivers (for scanners and printers, for example) to help them run more smoothly, and make them more resistant to attacks from criminals, who may try to attack directly, or use malicious software to steal your personal information.
Different hardware configurations, operating systems, software and web browsers all have different protocols for running updates, and you may be running slightly different versions of each. There are too many types of computers and software for any one person to keep up with, or even to list here – and they all issue updates regularly. Watch for update messages, and make sure you take the time to run critical updates as soon as possible. This will help you enhance both the longevity of your computers and the safety of your identity online.
Important reminder: Be sure your updates are coming from an official source. An unsolicited email or phone call that offers you a critical update may come from a “bad actor” trying to compromise your personal information.
You can also hire a professional computer consultant to visit your office or home on a regular basis to help you stay up to date, or you can take your devices to them. Many charge by the hour, and partnering with a computer professional will save you time, money and trouble in the long run.
Don’t forget – security includes more than critical updates. Identity theft protection goes beyond fraud alerts and credit freezes to detect additional forms of identity fraud with existing accounts, or criminal, medical, or Social Security misuse. ID360 is available to clients and their families at a substantial discount. Visit https://www.identitylockdown.com/Cetera to learn more.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you’d like more information about staying safe online.