If there is one thing you should know about hackers, it’s that they’re looking for the easiest way in.
Hackers don’t need creative or clever solutions because so many people don’t take security seriously. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re on top of security best practices.
For instance, do you have Windows Updates activated on your systems?
Software engineers are always searching for security flaws in their systems, and as soon as they find them, they create patches to solve the problem. These patches go out in software updates alongside more visible feature updates. All you have to do is install the update, and you’re safe from that security risk.
The problem is, hackers are very good at keeping up with security flaws. They may learn about a security flaw when they learn that it’s been patched, but anybody who hasn’t installed the update is still a target.
So how do you make sure that you’re covered by these patches?
Well, for your personal computer, it might be as simple as activating automatic Windows Updates.
To verify that you have Windows Updates set to automatically install, open the search window by the start button. Type in "Windows Update” then click on the Windows Update settings option. The Windows Update settings form will notify you if Updates are NOT set to install and will walk you through the steps to turn them on.
You'll also see when your system last checked for updates, and there's even a button there that says "Check for Updates" that will force your PC to go check for updates immediately.
If you haven't been doing updates, some of the updates may require a restart of your machine. Once your machine has restarted, check for updates again until your machine says you are totally up to date.
The process for business systems is a bit more complicated, as there are more aspects to consider.
Before activating Windows Updates on a business machine, ask yourself these questions:
Are Windows Updates tested on a "sandbox" machine before being deployed to all your machines? Are other applications being patched as consistently as the Windows Operating System? Are your machines backed up prior to patching in case something happens to go wrong?
If you know the answers to these questions, congratulations; you’re already ahead of most businesses on the cyber security front. If not, how can you find out?
If you have an IT team, and they haven’t brought up these questions with you, it’s time to ask why. If you don’t have an IT team, or yours is lackluster on the cyber-security side, give us a call. We’ll help you answer these questions and get your systems updating right away.