Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - Almanac Vol. 62, No. 33
One Step Ahead: Protect your Home Computers by Turning On Automatic Updates
Your Penn computer is likely centrally managed by your organization’s IT department. One of the benefits of this configuration is that it enables the IT department to install the latest or most critical software updates when they are released. The timely installation of updates is vitally important to protect the privacy and security of both your personal data and Penn’s data.
Unfortunately, many home computers are not nearly as well maintained. Far too often, people’s home computers are weeks, months or even years behind in vital updates. This leaves them increasingly vulnerable to hackers, spyware and other forms of malicious attacks. Security updates in particular need to be installed soon after vulnerabilities are announced. Attackers look to exploit publicly announced security holes because they know that people generally are slow to install updates.
A great way to ensure your home computer stays updated and secure is to turn on the Automatic Update feature in operating systems, applications like Firefox and browser plugins like Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash. You will be relieved of the burden of having to remember to manually install updates, and critical updates will be installed in time. The benefits of keeping your computer secure by automatically installing updates far outweigh any concerns.
Each operating system and application has a method of turning on automatic updates. Check the Help, About or Information menu for each operating system and application for additional instructions.