Back in the day before everyone had internet and before our computers were “networked” together, it did not matter as much if you updated your Operating System (OS) in a timely fashion because there was no risk of someone being able to connect to your computer and cause harm. The only type of network you had was “SneakerNet” (that’s my name for it).
If you wanted to share a file with someone over SneakerNet, you would:
- Put a floppy disk into your computer
- Copy the data to the floppy disk
- Remove the floppy disk
- Put on your sneakers
- Walk to the other person’s desk
- Hand them the floppy disk
Since as a society we have all become “connected,” the same isn’t true. It’s now more important then ever to do OS updates on both computers and mobile devices. These OS updates help to fix dangerous security flaws, bugs, and more (sometimes issues that are not revealed immediately). These are not to be confused with application updates. The operating system is what runs your computer and mobile devices. Applications are what run on top of the operating system.
When Microsoft stopped updating Windows XP to the public, I think it became a challenge among the bad guys to see who was going to discover an exploit first. It took about a month (I won that bet). Remember, it’s not an easy thing to keep software and its users safe. It takes a lot of money and effort to write the code and test the updates before they are released into the wild (i.e., the public).
So next time you receive an OS update notification from Mac, Microsoft, or your favorite flavor of Linux, read up on what it fixes and then install the update in a reasonable amount of time.
Apple just came out with an update that fixes many bugs and security holes. Did you do your update yet?