Lisa Capitanini

Protect Yourself From Criminals: Don’t Blow Off Computer Updates

Software updates take little to no effort, the founder of THOTCON said. Just do it!

One of the easiest ways to get hacked from cyber criminals? Don’t download updates for your computers or cell phones.

Surprised? You're not the only one.

"Most people put it off, said Nick Percoco, founder of THOTCON, an annual Chicago hacking conference. "A lot of excuses I hear are: I’m afraid I’m going to lose my information. I’m afraid it’s going to take too long for the update to run."

This is dead wrong, Percoco said.

"Whenever you see an update, whether it’s an app that gets updated or a phone or computer and its says, 'there is an update available; would you like to install it,' you should always say yes," Percoco said.

Percoco said it’s extremely important to understand that when a software provider or a computer mobile device sends out an update there are two reasons why.

"The first reason is that there are new features that software developers want people to experience," he said. "The second reason is that there are security fixes for that device or computer applications that run on it."

As soon as the updates come out, Percoco said "cyber criminals or attackers see the vulnerabilities that they are fixing and immediately write computer tools to exploit devices or application running old versions. If you see an update on your cell and think that you’ll do it in a week or two, you have given attackers weeks to hack you before you update."

Software updates take little to no effort, Percoco said. Just do it!

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