You’re probably familiar with the messages that pop up on your device screen every now and then telling you that it is time for an update. Most mobile device manufacturers release several software updates a year and you’ll probably find out that your apps are updated much more frequently.
Like so many of us out there, you have probably also hit ‘ignore’ or ‘remind me later’ when these update messages appear. This is OK for a few hours until you don’t need to use the device or can stick it on charge while it updates, but don’t make a habit of it or prolong the update for days. Most of us are becoming increasingly more attached to our devices and hate having to put them down for a while, but it is honestly worth the effort where updates are concerned.
Many updates will provide you with new and improved features and improve the reliability and speed of the device. But updates don’t only give you access to new features… There’s actually a much more important and serious reason behind most updates – many contain security patches and bug fixes. Any software system will have flaws and hackers find these flaws, which they exploit, so the manufacturer pushes out updates to ensure that devices are safe from the latest security threats. By doing the updates you are protecting yourself and your data.
Most devices will automatically check for updates, but will not install them without your permission. Check your device’s settings to make sure that automatically checking for updates is enabled, so that you don’t have to remember to check for them manually. It’s also worth checking that the setting which only allows your device to check for updates over a Wi-Fi connection is enabled, else you’ll risk using up all your mobile data or racking up a hefty bill! Once prompted to update and you have agreed to proceed, you can normally just leave the device doing its thing until a restart is needed.
Another easy housekeeping task you can do to further improve your device security and performance is to uninstall any apps that you no longer need to use. As well as using Wi-Fi and running your battery down with their background processes, you’ve probably saved various details in the app at some point. If you don’t need the app anymore, then just remove it and any saved data that goes with it.
And finally… If the manufacturer has advised you that your device will stop being updated and no longer supported, it is definitely time to look for an upgrade. None of these security patches and bug fixes will be provided for an unsupported device, so your device is incredibly vulnerable and you are pretty much offering it up to hackers.
Be smart and stay updated!