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The importance of keeping your software up to date

Take a look at the software you use every day. When is the last time you’ve updated it? For many, keeping software up to date is not a priority – because as some say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Our technical support team runs into all types of software when troubleshooting with customers, and it’s not at all uncommon to see users working with software 10+ years old.

What’s the big deal? Security.

Your security, particularly in this day and age of being connected to the outside world via the internet is paramount. When you’re using old, outdated software, you’re opening yourself up to security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities could cause malware attacks on your computer or perhaps data loss. Even worse, you could open yourself to a serious situation like identity theft, if a bad actor were to acquire sensitive personal information.

Software doesn’t only encompasss the programs you use, like email or web browsing. It also includes the operating system your computer runs.

According to data published by NetMarketShare, Windows XP still runs on approximately 7.44% of desktop computers out there.

For reference, Windows XP was released in August of 2001, and the last Service Pack release was nearly ten years ago in mid-2008. Microsoft no longer issues updates or patches for Windows XP, which means if yet another exploit is detected, nothing will be done.

When you’re running the latest software, you’re ensuring that you’re working with the most secure version possible. That’s of great importance, particularly if you conduct a good chunk of business online.

How do I update?

The first part of updating is checking for updates. If you’re running Windows or Mac, update functionality is built-in, and the computer will generally let you know if updates are ready to be downloaded/installed.

This is also true for most software, but if not, you can generally check to see if you’re running the latest version by going to the Help menu, and looking for an item similar to ‘About’. You can then go to the software’s website and check to see what the latest release version is by comparing the version numbers.

If needed, you can proceed to download the latest version. It’s always smart to have backups (see our MegaBackup service), just in case something goes awry.

Benefits of the cloud

If you’re not up to checking and/or updating your software, it might be prudent to explore cloud solutions. For example, our Office 365 product acts as your Outlook software – anywhere, anytime.

What’s better is that we manage updates on your behalf, so you don’t need to do anything but check your email as you normally would.

We offer a number of cloud-based services, which you can check out here.

Taking a few minutes to review your software versions and updating accordingly could very well save you frustration in the long run. So why not get started now?

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