Why It’s Important to Update Your Operating System

Operating system updates range from minor bug fixes to full-scale patches. Many users either ignore these updates or don’t wait for them to download and install properly — something that could pose a significant security risk. Here are just some of the reasons why computer users should update their operating system regularly.

Improve Security

Many security risks arise because of vulnerabilities in software. Hackers exploit these weaknesses, which could result in personal information being compromised. Computer users who don’t update their systems are at risk of attack, making security updates essential.

The annual cost of cybercrime in the United States totaled $15.42 billion in 2015, up from $12.69 billion in 2014. Moreover, 230,000new malware samples are created every day. Security updates minimize these security threats and keep computer systems up-to-date. They also discover security flaws (such as bugs, viruses and adware) and keep computer systems protected against external menaces.

Improve Usability

Security patches also improve system usability. Downloading and installing regular updates enhances computer speed and ensures software and applications are running at maximum efficiency. Slow-loading software and a lagging operating system are often signsthat critical system updates need to be installed.

Security patches are so important that many operating systems now download these updates automatically. This ensures computer users are protected against the latest bugs and malware at all times. Windows 10, for example, might install updates when users switch off their computers. Mac OS X also provides this feature to its users.

Some updates are a nuisance — especially those that take a long time to install — but they improve usability for millions of computer users.

Improve Functionality

The latest operating system updates boost functionality and provide computer users with access to new innovations. Much of today’s software is constantly evolving, with new features being added at lightning speed. Users who download and install the latest operating system updates, and other software updates, will have access to the latest version of a particular application.

This can have a significant effect on companies that want to grow and develop. By downloading the latest software updates, brands utilize features that streamline processes and can establish a technology-driven strategy to overcome business challenges. Using outdated software can have the opposite effect and jeopardize their reputation.

What Users Say

It “offers kernel-level security updates without requiring a reboot,” says a user of Oracle Linux, an open-source operating system that provides security alerts and critical patch updates on a regular basis.

Another user also liked the operating system’s security controls: “Stability, zero-downtime updates, global commercial support and GNOME interface are the best features of Oracle Linux.”

“The operating system automatically updates for you and performs self-checks at startup,” says a user who reviewed Chromium OS, another type of operating system. “It is very easy to use and has built-in security against all kinds of malware, which keeps itself updated.”

Another user agreed: “When there is a new version of the operating system available, it automatically updates in the background without affecting the interface.”

Operating system updates optimize speed and usability, and improve security and functionality, so ignoring them could have serious consequences. Computer users should download and install these updates regularly — or automate update installation — in order to access new software features and prevent security vulnerabilities.