Monday, June 14, 2021

Cyber Security Today, June 2, 2021 – Don’t put off installing security updates

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Wednesday June 2nd. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com.

I’m away for a few days, so today’s podcast deals with a recent report I came across rather than hard news.

 

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Keeping personal internet-connected devices updated with the latest security patches is vital. It’s even more important these days with people working from home and using personal devices to connect to their place of work. But lots of people delay installing updates, or just ignore them. In April, Kaspersky hired a company to survey 15,000 people in 23 countries to find out why.

Among the findings:

–half put off updates because they are busy doing other things;

–half put off updates to see if there are any problems reported before installing them;

–44 per cent say downloading and installing updates takes too long;

–36 per cent said they have sometimes been late meeting family or friends because a personal device was installing updates;

–half said that it’s difficult to keep track of all their families’ connected devices so they can keep them updated;

–and 62 per cent of respondents admitted they need family members help them with updates.

You might think that putting off updates by a few days isn’t terrible – and you’re right, although ideally an update should be installed within 24 hours of being notified one is available. But 11 per cent of respondents admitted sometimes they have delayed installing an update by more than a few months. That’s dangerous, because cyber crooks create malware to take advantage of vulnerable systems within hours of a company announcing the discovery of a fault.

So here are some tips:

–you may still be able to work while updates are being installed in the background. Check with your IT department or someone knowledgeable for advice;

–set a regular time for looking for and installing updates. You should by now know that Microsoft updates Windows and other products on the second Tuesday of every month. Check your settings to see if updates are automatically installed. Or just set a reminder in your calendar that just after supper on the second Tuesday of the month to check Windows Update;

–for those with Android phones, the Google Play store delivers Android updates and patches for all the apps you have when they are available. That means irregularly, but checking twice a week isn’t hard;

–don’t forget to keep an eye out for updates from the maker of your router or modem.

It helps to have a list of all the hardware and software you personally own so you know to check them for updates. You can’t update an application if you don’t know you have it.

Finally, for some people update problems sometimes have a tactical purpose: 21 per cent in the survey admitted pretending a work device is installing an update as an excuse to miss a meeting or a phone call.

That’s it for now Remember links to details about podcast stories are in the text version at ITWorldCanada.com. That’s where you’ll also find other stories of mine.

Follow Cyber Security Today on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Flash Briefing on your smart speaker. Thanks for listening. I’m Howard Solomon

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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