More than 50% of software installed on PCs including the most popular, critical and security related applications such as Chrome, Firefox, Java and Flash are out of date.
That’s according to Avast, anyway, who just released their Avast PC Trends Report January 2017. The report, based on the anonymous data of around 100 million users who have Avast security software installed, makes for unsettling, if unsurprising reading.
It’s the one thing millions of desktop and laptop users have in common. Avast state in a blog post that the reason so many people are leaving themselves wide open for a catastrophic system failure and leaving themselves exposed to the activities of cybercriminals, and vulnerable to malware and ransomware, is simple:
If you’re like most people, you hit the ‘Remind Me Later’ option, and keep doing what you’re doing. Later often never comes. Does that sound familiar? There’s a word for this: Procrastination! And we have all been guilty of it when it comes to the chore of updating our PC’s software.
“In the online world, your security habits, such as keeping your software updated, play a big role in your level of your protection on the Internet,” said Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Technology Officer, at Avast. “Running outdated programs leaves PC users susceptible to attacks from savvy hackers exploiting easy-to-find or known vulnerabilities.”
Of course, keeping your machine up to date with the latest software is probably the number one thing anyone can do to protect themselves and their data safe. Even the best security software going can only protect someone so much, if the installed programs on their machine are out of date.
This also helps explain why some tech companies such as Microsoft are so keen to have updates run automatically. While this has provoked a large amount of criticism from users over the last year or two, when a report like this surfaces, you can kind of see where they’re coming from. Essentially, if people don’t keep their machines up to date, what other choice do they have?
So, do yourself a favour and set aside some time this week to get it all updated!
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