It’s a conundrum that we all face. Use technology and you risk “being hacked” or putting info out into the world that is accessible to the bad guys or susceptible to the latest government intrusion techniques. However, one of the easiest solutions lies in your hands: update to be safe with your technology!
One of the biggest ways to stay safe? It’s not what you think! UPDATE your devices, software, operating systems, and browsers. It’s in your hands.
I blame the media and a lack of understanding about today’s world of updates. You will hear folks saying, “I just did an update, and now my phone is whacky–don’t do it!” What you do not hear is what kind of device they have; how old it was or when was the last time they did an update? What software do they have and has it been updated?
Updating is not an annual event. It’s a continuous cycle of events that may occur quarterly, monthly, weekly or sometimes, daily. The cycle can be driven by occurrences that are unpredictable.
Many times, updates are scheduled and part of a regular structure of housecleaning. Other times, a new bug is discovered and reported, novel uses are repeating and need to be worked into existing features, etc.
Another misconception. No, usually software updates are free. There are times when a developer will completely overhaul an app and decide that it was so much work they need to charge for it. However, 90% of the time updates come with the existing software, and no additional fee is involved. After all, they want you to keep using the app. A satisfied customer means you will build the app into your routine and keep using it.
With the iPhone or Apple products updating is very easy. Android has the opposite problem–updates are different for each cell phone provider or manufacturer.
One problem is uniform: many folks ignore the update prompts and simply do not understand why it is critical to install them promptly.
Different visible clues will notify you about the need for updates.
Performing any update will require:
All updates occur in a two-step process:
Open, unlock, log in to your device and use it as usual! You may notice new features or not. There may be new ways to do things, or not.
If there are any problems, you will know quickly. Many times another restart of your device will help. You can also “Google” online to discover if there are any problems with a recent app or operating system update if you do not have someone that assists you with IT matters. (Remember, you should check out for any reported problems before you do the updates, which is why waiting a week, or two is a good idea.)
While updating your devices and app is one of the biggest steps towards ensuring the safety and security of your technology, password management is the second, and also, very misunderstood.
Speaking of which, how many of you are still using Yahoo email accounts? Despite the revelations about the repeated lack of oversight and state of flux that Yahoo is in folks ignore the warnings out of fear or laziness and stay the course. Not a good idea. Changing and creating a new email address is easy. There are many resources, including The Tech Wizard!
There is no way that you should remember your passwords. This notion is antiquated and out of sync with today’s reality. A password management system is essential. I recommend 1Password. LastPass is another great tool. Your passwords should follow these guidelines: