Software updates: one of the simplest ways to protect your system

Kevin Sokolowski

Kevin Sokolowski

Chief Innovation Officer, Payworks

One of the original architects of Payworks’ payroll platform, Kevin now leads the organization’s Information Technology, Information Security and Labs teams and ensures our technology is safe, reliable and ever-evolving to meet the needs of our clients and growing business.
Chef de L’Innovation, Payworks

Kevin est l’un des premiers architectes de la plateforme de traitement de la paie de Payworks. Il dirige désormais les équipes Technologies de l’information, Sécurité de l’information et Labs de l’entreprise, et veille à ce que notre technologie soit sécuritaire, fiable et en constante évolution pour répondre aux besoins de nos clients et de notre entreprise en pleine croissance.

The challenge of keeping pace with technological evolution can feel daunting – there’s always a new and better version of hardware (like your phone) and software (like that phone’s operating system) right around the corner. These upgrades are driven not only by a desire to capitalize on consumers’ wish lists, but also to protect those same consumers from both programming bugs and hackers. As technology changes, so do the methods hackers use to identify and exploit its weaknesses.

Here are a few simple ways to stay at the forefront of safer technology:

Stop ignoring those update alerts…

The solution is simple: allow your software to keep itself up-to-date. Even on a busy day, it’s important to ensure your operating systems, apps, web browsers and programs are kept as current as possible; otherwise, you’ll be using increasingly-obsolete technology and exposing yourself to unnecessary risks.

…and double-check to make sure you didn’t miss one by mistake.

If you miss an update alert, don’t stress – on most devices, you can check to see what updates are available and apply them across your whole system from a single screen! The same goes for security patches, which correct vulnerabilities susceptible to hacking or viral infection – a list of recommended patches can be applied to all affected areas at once.

Stay in the loop on new opportunities to better protect yourself and your system.

You can also take a proactive role in system security by keeping aware of newly identified weaknesses and how to protect yourself against them. You can review or subscribe to the feeds many vendors publish that detail any security issues affecting their products; you can also evaluate your own systems against security benchmarks and best practices overall. Online resources such as the Department of Defense Cyber Exchange’s Security Implementation Guides, the National Vulnerability Database's National Checklist Program or the Centre for Internet Security's CIS Benchmarks are great tools for staying on top of on ever-evolving standards.

Next time that update alert pops up, don’t minimize the window or snooze it until tomorrow; take advantage of the upgrade and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re protecting yourself and your personal information as best you can.

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