In today’s technological landscape, keeping your computer’s software up-to-date is a crucial practice. This is because most people use their computers to complete a wide variety of tasks using the Internet. In most cases, it is not unusual for a typical computer user to pay bills, shop, send emails and connect with friends through a persistent Internet connection. However, cyber criminals can use the vulnerabilities in outdated software to steal your personal information, hijack your computer or install a harmful program.
To prevent unauthorized access to your computer, most software manufacturers release updates on a regular schedule to fix vulnerabilities, eliminate bugs and patch erroneous code. In addition to security, regularly updating your software also provides access to new features, which can enhance your computer’s capabilities and performance.
Use the Software’s Automatic Update Feature
Many software programs have an automatic update feature that checks the vendor’s server on a regular schedule for any available updates. Once the program finds an applicable update, it automatically downloads and installs the update. However, the feature only works if it is enabled. If the feature is not enabled by default, open the program’s Settings menu and then select the Automatic Update option. Depending on the software program, the option to automatically download an update may be available in another section of the Settings menu. Refer to the program’s user manual, Help section or the Support section of the vendor’s website for specific directions.
Enable Your Computer’s Automatic Update Feature
Although an operating system performs an important function, which is providing a platform that allows a computer’s hardware to communicate with installed software, it is still just a software program. As a result, updating the operating system is necessary to keep your computer running smoothly, prevent unauthorized access and fix any vulnerabilities. All of the major operating systems have advanced update options that you can use to keep your computer updated. For example, the Windows operating system has a Windows Update section that offers numerous update options.
Check the Vendor’s website for Updates
If a program that you want to update does not have an automatic update option, you can still manually update the program by downloading an update from the Support section of the vendor’s website. In most cases, the update will also have download, installation and new application instructions.
Use a Third-party Program
Some third-party programs, such as an anti-virus program, may also have the option to automatically update the programs that it monitors on your computer. Similar to the automatic update feature in a typical program, you can access the third-party’s automatic update option through its Settings menu.
Reinstall the Program
If you have problems updating your software, your best option is to delete it from your computer’s hard drive and then reinstall the new version. A reinstallation ensures that you are running the latest version of the software. You can delete the program through your operating system’s Uninstall Programs section.