Turn on Software Updates
The biggest thing you can do is to update the software on all of your devices. This means computers, phones, tablets, routers, game consoles - pretty much everything with a microchip. Most software updates don’t add new features. They fix security bugs. By not updating your software, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to security glitches that hackers are well aware of.
Take the WannaCry virus. WannaCry infected over 200K computers, including those in hospitals. It took advantange of a security hole that was over two months old. But, because many people had never installed the security update, the WannaCry virus was able to spread.
You should make sure that your operating system is updated to the latest version. You should set up all devices to automatically install software updates. It’s just easier that way. Once a security update is released, hackers will learn about the bug that update fixed. They can go after stragglers fairly quickly.
- Windows 7,8,10
- Android: You can’t update the operating system automatically. See this link to see how to have apps update automatically though.
- iOS: You can’t update the operating system automatically. See this link to see how to have apps update automatically.
- Windows < 7: Please update to a newer version of Windows. Microsoft is no longer providing updates to these older versions of Windows.
- Linux: let’s be real, if your relatives are using Linux, they don’t need your help.
Not every update can be automatically updated. If you’re on an iOS or Android device, make a calendar update to remind you to check for updates every month or so.
Companies have a bad habit of adding features + security patches in the same update. That means that your newly secure device might act a little bit different. You (or your relatives) might have to incur some one-time learning to figure out how to do old tasks. It’s annoying, I know.