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should i update my appsSoftware update notifications seem like a constant companion on every computer. Every app wants to update regularly, and they nag us with notifications 5 Distracting Desktop Notifications & How To Turn Them Off [Windows] 5 Distracting Desktop Notifications & How To Turn Them Off [Windows] When you are working on a computer, it takes a fair bit of will power to resist the attempt to multitask. But even if you manage to restrain yourself, many programs manage to throw in... Read More until we give in and update. These notifications can be inconvenient, especially when apps pester you with them while you’e busy, but keeping your installed applications updated is important for a variety of reasons – especially security.

You may already know this, but maybe your friends don’t, and this is where we come in and save you a bunch of explaining. Automatic updates that happen silently in the background can help reduce the nag factor, if you enable them. An increasing number of applications are adding automatic, silent updates that don’t involve nagging.

Why Update?

Having the latest versions of your applications is important for a variety of reasons:

should i update my apps

Update Notifications

When a new version an app is released – particularly one with security fixes – the developer can’t expect that every user will hear about it, visit their website, and download the update manually. Instead, many apps – especially ones where security fixes are particularly important, like operating systems and web browsers – will occasionally “phone home” and ask what the latest version is. If there’s a newer version available, the software will alert you with an update notification.

Most of the update notifications you see are for include important security updates. Microsoft isn’t adding big new features to Windows every month – they’re fixing security holes 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Running The Latest Windows Security Patches & Updates 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Running The Latest Windows Security Patches & Updates The code that makes up the Windows operating system contains security loop holes, errors, incompatibilities, or outdated software elements. In short, Windows isn't perfect, we all know that. Security patches and updates fix the vulnerabilities... Read More . It’s generally important to install new versions of software as soon as possible after you see the update.


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Automatic & Silent Updates

Automatic, silent updates are a more convenient way to receive updates. Instead of applications nagging you to update, they’ll automatically update themselves in the background. Google Chrome was one of the first applications to start this trend – Google Chrome automatically keeps itself up-to-date, so you never have to worry about whether you have the latest version or click through update dialogs.

Other applications like Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Flash have followed Google Chrome’s lead. You can also enable automatic updates for Windows itself.

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Most users should leave silent updates enabled – it’s a big time saver when you’ll just install the updates yourself anyway. It’s important not to disable silent updates and update notifications or you’ll be using out-of-date software and leave yourself open to attack.

Some people worry that enabling silent updates allows the software developer to download and run any code they want on your computer. In reality, the developer can do anything it wants to your computer if it has software running on it. The developer is doing you the courtesy of asking whether you want automatic updates or not, but a malicious piece of software doesn’t have to ask your permission. If you’re really worried about this, you can disable automatic updates for most apps and ask it to prompt you before installing updates.

should i update my apps

For more tips on staying safe online, download HackerProof, our free guide to PC security.

Feel free to share this post with novice computer users who may not realize the importance of updates. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below!

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