Is Your PC Secure? Updates will Help!

Updates, Updates, Updates! It seems that computer programs are always updating, but which updates are important and which updates are not? In this article we will get you up-to-date, from Adobe to Windows Security.


Firstly, it is important to understand what an update actually is…Say you had a contractor in your home to redo your kitchen, he gets it all done and it looks good to you. Then, two weeks later, he comes back to your house, knocks on the door and says, “Excuse me, I would like to fix something in your kitchen.” Obviously, you would be happy to have him fix whatever he thought was important enough to drive back to your house for. The contractor’s ‘fix’ is the same as the programs’ update. Most updates or patches (think a leaking boat) are security related, which means they are needed to fix vulnerabilities the programmers have found in their program.
Here the update is already downloaded and is just waiting to be installed.


So now that we know what an update is, we can worry about how and when to install them. Generally speaking, you should install all of the updates that are released for every program used regularly. However, the most important ones are for the operating system (Windows Updates), and following that, the updates for programs that interact with the Internet. A good Anti-Virus program will protect you, even if you are slow to update, so make sure you have one.
This Java update is also trying to install a useless toolbar



When I do bi-yearly clean-ups for my customers, I always configure the updates to ‘automatic’ on programs that are essential. That means, the first notification they get as a user is: “This update has been downloaded, when would you like to install it?” See the image below:

If you are comfortable with computers and want to do the updates on your own, here are some helpful tips below. However, if you are still unsure or have any further questions give us a call at TechTutors. We offer a computer maintenance package that includes: updates, clean ups, and antivirus protection to keep your computer running its best.

Lastly, be careful where you are clicking ‘update’. Remember that the Internet is entirely made up of advertized space, so if there is a banner ad (a paid for ad on another website trying to attract traffic/clicks) that says you need to update Java or Adobe, you need to be wary… Update notifications should be prompted internally (not from web browsers* or emails). In the image Fig.1 above, the update notification came from the task bar and is safe. Any time you see an advertisement in your browser (*Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla) you need to think, “They paid for that space: How are they making money there and how are the advertisements making money?” because they are. It is also worth noting that downloading programs that will allegedly speed up your computer and remove error messages are 95% snake oil. If you have any doubt, please call a professional for advice.