Who better to look after your software’s security than the software manufacturers themselves? Maintain your software and apps, and make sure to regularly run the latest updates. This way, you will always be on the safe side.
- Activate the automatic update function for all software and apps installed – in particular operating system, antivirus software, firewall, browser incl. plug-ins and document viewing software.
- Only ever download software, apps and their updates from the manufacturer’s web page, never from third party providers.
- Only ever use the latest browser version to surf the Internet.
Outdated software often suffers from vulnerabilities, making it easy for attackers to take control of a device. Software manufacturers will correct any such vulnerabilities and offer patches in the shape of program updates.
What to do
Under Windows at least, all common browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari will have automatic update functions, which can usually be activated via the Help menu. Modern browsers also automatically recognise unsafe Internet websites and alert the user if he is about to call up such a site. Your antivirus software, operating system and any other programs and apps installed (for instance Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Java, etc.) will also have to be kept up-to-date at all times. Usually, this is simple to do and doesn’t require much effort: Once you activate the respective update functions, these programs or your operating system will regularly look for the latest updates, and will often install these automatically as well.
The following demo clips will show you how to activate Windows Update in the various Windows versions:
In Windows 10, Windows updates are activated by default and cannot simply be deactivated. For you, this means you don’t have to do anything, as updates are downloaded and installed automatically as soon as they become available.
Every now and then, your computer may need to be restarted to finish the installation of an update. To prevent this from happening automatically at an unfavourable time, please do as follows.
Open the start menu («Windows» icon bottom left) and then click on «Settings», «Update and Security», «Windows Update» and «Advanced Options». From the drop-down menu, select the option required by you under «Choose how updates are installed»:
Windows XP, Windows Vista and Office 2007 – End of life
You should no longer be working with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Office 2007 now, as Microsoft have ceased support for this software. This means security updates are no longer made available to protect your computer against viruses, worms, Trojans and other malware.Windows lifecycle:
From Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) onwards, updates are provided via the Mac App Store instead of a software update function. The automatic software update function is activated by default. In addition to the default settings, you should also activate the «Install app updates» tick box. To do so, click on «System preferences» in the «Apple» menu and then on «App Store».
Updates available are displayed under the App Store symbol in the dock, indicated by the number of software updates available. Once you click this, the App Store opens, and these updates can then be installed.
Alternatively, click on «App Store…» under the «Apple» menu to have any software updates for macOS and apps available from the App Store displayed to you.
You can find information for programs which did not originate from the Mac App Store on the respective manufacturer websites. There is often a menu item such as «look for updates» inside the programs themselves, or the program starts looking for updates automatically every time it starts.
Smartphone and Tablet
Most smartphone operating systems will notify users once system updates are available. Check under «software update», «mobile update» or similar in your system settings whether there is an automatic update function, and whether it has been activated. Apps installed can usually be updated via the store. Depending on your operating system, all apps - or those specifically selected - can even be set to completely automatic updates. Always make sure that you update both your operating system and all apps installed as soon as possible.