Article Written By: Kyle Kunnen | SVP, Information Security Officer | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
My first car, a Chevy Cavalier Z24. It was a manual and it was so much fun shifting through the gears at a rapid pace. Today I enjoy driving my sons 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger. Yes it is a manual transmission too and I have just as much fun racing through its gears like I did my old Z24. Being an old car, it burns a little oil. We check the oil regularly to avoid the risk of blowing up an engine. Computers are like my son’s old car. Preventative maintenance is also required. While your computer may not blow up like an engine, it is at risk of failure if you don’t keep its operating system up to date.
Vendors that manufacture the software for computers regularly release security updates. These updates if not applied frequently will cause your system to be more susceptible to malware. If your system is compromised, it can cause your system to behave erratically, become extremely slow, and even become inoperable. As a best practice, set your computer to auto update when a critical security patch is made available by the vendor.
The other software on your computer works the same way. Vendors frequently produce releases to fix known security flaws. Take a minute to review the settings within those applications. You will likely find you can set them to auto update as well.