It’s probably one of the most irritating parts of your day. The time when just after switching on your PC it shouts back ‘Updates available’. Increased connectivity and improved approaches to security means that almost every piece of software installed on your system can now monitor for updates and let you know when they are available. You can set many of these to update automatically, but even then, if a re-boot is required ‘for the settings to take effect’ it can be frustrating and rather distracting to productivity.

So hands up who has got an update alert and then ignored it? Perhaps for a few hours, perhaps for a day or even longer? Would you do the same with your Anti-virus software, if it urged you to install updates? It’s unlikely. Most of us don’t want to be exposed to risk of viruses or security risks, yet many of the update patches for the software we use every day are as essential for the security of your system and information as your anti-virus software.

This week Adobe patched six ‘critical’ vulnerabilities in Flash Player and this was already the third patch for Flash Player this year. If people are ignoring the chance to install those patches for the Adobe plug-in that’s installed on an estimated 99% of PCs then that is a lot of people and businesses at risk. Also this week Microsoft issued a record 14 security updates to patch 34 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office and Silverlight.

Adobe has already committed to a quarterly patching schedule for its own Reader and Acrobat software and it seems the big software companies are having to work overtime to keep up with potential foes who are committed to finding security flaws.

Do you install updates as and when they become available?

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