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Why is managing your updates essential?

Dernière mise à jour : 17 sept. 2021

The digital devices and software we use every day are vulnerable to security breaches. These flaws can be used by cybercriminals to take control of a computer, mobile device or even a smartwatch. Faced with these risks, publishers and manufacturers offer updates to correct these flaws. While the update operation is often seen as a constraint, it is nevertheless an essential act to protect yourself. Here are 10 best practices to adopt for your updates.

Computer, security, wifi logos on a white screen

1. Remember to update all your devices and software without delay

Computers, phones, operating systems, word processing software, connected objects ... we use a lot of devices and software. All it takes is one that is out of date and exposed to a security breach to breach your digital environment. In order to prevent cybercriminals from using these security holes to hack you and steal sensitive personal information from you, it is essential that you update your equipment as soon as it becomes available.

Different types of updates :

• Important or critical updates fix security holes that can be used to hack your equipment. • Version updates usually bring new functionality and also fix security vulnerabilities. This type of update may be chargeable.

2. Download updates only from official websites

Only the official sites or devices of the editors and manufacturers give you the best guarantee that the updates you are going to install are not infected with a virus.

When installing your updates, be aware of any conditions of use or pre-checked boxes that could constitute acceptance of the installation of other unwanted software (adware, for example).

3. Identify all the devices and software used

It is advisable to identify your devices, hardware and software in order to update them. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer an inventory application that lists the devices connected to your work or home computer network. If you acquire a new device, reset it to its default settings before using it by resetting it and then install the various updates offered on the sites of the manufacturer or the publishers of the installed applications.

4. Enable the option to automatically download and install updates

If the software allows it, configure it to download and install updates automatically. With this functionality, you will thus have the latest updated version of the publisher's solution. Also make sure the update is working by manual checking if needed.

5. Define the rules for carrying out updates [PRO]

To ensure your digital security, the definition of certain rules can facilitate the update operation, especially in business. This involves, for example, specifying how to take an inventory of the devices and software used, knowing where and how to look for updates, how and who performs the update or when to perform this operation.

Good to know :

In business, if there is an IT department, it is usually responsible for updating devices and software. Otherwise, it is the employees who carry out this operation, under the authority of the head of the company.

6. Planifiez les mises à jour lors de périodes d’inactivité

When they interrupt a personal or professional activity (watching a video, writing an email, etc.), messages indicating the availability of an update are often ignored because the update process can be felt as a constraint. Indeed, the update can take time, ranging from a few seconds to several minutes or hours, depending on the case. Also, take advantage of periods of inactivity to make your bets (lunch, meeting, night ...).

7. Beware of fake internet updates

While browsing the Internet, messages appearing as update alerts may appear on your screen: fake advertisements on malicious websites or windows (pop-ups). Be extremely careful as this may be a technique to trick you into installing a so-called update that is actually a virus.

8. Find out about the regular publication of updates from the publisher [PRO]

Using an outdated device or software increases the risk of computer attacks. If updates are no longer offered, they are more vulnerable. Also, before acquiring new hardware or software, check the regular release of updates from the publisher or manufacturer, as well as the end date of their availability. When a solution comes to the end of its life and updates are no longer offered, identify the timeframes and resources needed to migrate to new tools to stay protected.

Some examples of security breaches :

• In the United States, cybercriminals have managed to steal confidential casino data using a connected thermometer in an aquarium at the establishment. • In France, the electric scooter is enjoying growing success. A security vulnerability on some models has been discovered. It allowed certain commands to be executed without needing the password, such as unlocking them, controlling acceleration or braking. An update has been released to correct this flaw.

9. Test updates when possible and make backups [PRO]

Sometimes, updating a piece of equipment or software has unintended consequences, such as making the newly updated solution incompatible with other equipment or software. Updates should therefore be tested when possible. In addition, do not hesitate to make a backup of your data and software before an update operation so that you can go back if necessary..

10. Protect otherwise devices that cannot be updated [PRO]

In some cases, devices may not be updated for various reasons, such as their age, loss of warranty or approval. It is therefore necessary to protect this device in other ways, for example by not connecting it to the Internet, by separating it from the rest of the computer network or even by deactivating vulnerable services.


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