Updates in the field of information technology describe programs or information used to update software. Regular updates are a fundamental part of cyber security.

What does the term “update” mean in detail?

Updates have many functions. They can, among other things:

  • Fix programming errors,
  • Add, change or remove functions,
  • Close identified security holes or
  • Provide newly discovered virus signatures for a virus program.

Where would I encounter updates in everyday work?

Depending on the setting, many updates install themselves automatically. Nevertheless, a program sometimes prompts you for an update, during your daily work. It almost always means interrupting your current activity, but it helps increase the cyber security of your computer and your business.

What can I do to improve my safety?

  • If possible, use automatic updates, which are installed without delay.
  • Install non-automatic updates as soon as possible.
  • If you’re using an older operating system or older software, regularly check to see whether they are still being updated. If not, we recommend a change.
  • Updates change the software on your computer. Be sure to check that you only receive updates from legitimate sources. The best source for updates is the manufacturer’s site. Make it a habit to never receive updates via links, but always to visit the manufacturer's site manually or use automatic updates.
  • Before major updates (for example, a new operating system), back-up to a separate location (for example, external hard disk, standalone server, or other network)

Interesting background information

The first three chapters of the Lower Saxony police comments regarding basic protection of hardware and software deal with the importance of updates and contain further links: Polizei Niedersachsen

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