Updates Beat Security Programs

google-logoAccording to security experts polled in a recent Google Study, the two best ways to stay safe online are to keep your operating system and applications patched by running updates when prompted, and by using a password management tool, such as LastPass.  32% of security professionals said that running updates was the most important and effective security practice.

Unfortunately, in the same poll, when average users were asked the best ways to stay safe online, they answered at running anti-malware software, deleting cookies, a periodically changing passwords.  While these activities are good to engage in, they are not the most effective.  Anti-virus and anti-malware Internet security programs are not perfect.  And in my own practice I meet so many individuals who have cookies turned off on their browsers and don’t understand that some websites won’t work without them.

So basically, you want to be sure that Windows Updates are set to install automatically.  You can check this in the Control Panel.  Other software updates that you want to run are updates for Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash.  These, too can be set to run automatically, just open the respective programs and go to Help, Check for updates.  Java is another program that needs to be updated when prompted.

Unfortunately, the Adobe and Java updates will sponsor hitchhiker programs, such as Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, McAfee Security Plus, or Yahoo Toolbar.  Uncheck the box to stay free of these unnecessary programs.  Also be sure you are downloading updates from the manufacturer’s website, not from some downloader site.

Stay safe.

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About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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