Nobody likes a nag but there’s a reason why our devices have been set up to niggle at us to make us do their bidding. If you inadvertently click on ‘yes’ when a website offers to send you news and updates about offers, pop-ups constantly appear in the bottom right corner of your computer screen. Flashing adverts distract you while you are looking things up in Chrome and the telephone goes ‘ping’ every five minutes, telling you that your favourite toothpaste is on sale on Amazon. You either go into your settings and revoke the permissions or you ignore it. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to operating system updates, that’s exactly what you should not be doing.
You might feel tempted to disable the automatic update mechanisms that have you hanging about when you want to work, but that’s a dreadful idea, and will expose you to serious danger, so much so that you should immediate check your devices and ensure that the automatic system update features are enabled and running.
The reason for this is that your software is not as ‘tough’ as you might thing, and although things have got much better over the decades, almost all programmes have bugs, minor programming defects that can lead to glitches or even cause your system to crash. What’s more, as we become ever more closely connected, we are exposed to more and more defects that make us vulnerable to security hazards. Even if your computer is brand new, it is already packed with security flaws that nobody knows about yet.
Little by little, these flaws come to light, and before hackers can use them against us they need to be fixed. That’s what software updates do, effectively repairing newly revealed security issues before they can take down users’ computers. They are our only way of adapting to ever-changing circumstances. Failing to keep your system updated puts you at risk of automated attacks to steal your information.
In the meantime, Microsoft has been listening to consumers, and is changing the way that Windows 10 handles updates, using machine learning to manage the task. The system works in the background to keep your system safe and running smoothly and is using artificial intelligence to accurately predict the best time to install updates. The predictive model is currently being tested, which is great news if it will stop our systems from rebooting at inconvenient times.
So, go on, check your devices are updated right now!