Cybersecurity Advent – Day 01

Today’s Cybersecurity tip is: update your devices

The most effective way to stay safe is to run the latest patches and software updates on your computer and mobile devices. While we hear all the time about zero-day vulnerabilities, most exploits happen because of known vulnerabilities that have been in the wild for a while. Having the latest updates and patches will protect against the known exploits. Having automated updates enabled will help protect against zero-day vulnerabilities because you’ll be updated as soon as your provider has a fix!

Fortunately, most device makers have made this process almost mindless. Your take-away today should be to check your computer and/or phone to make sure you’re up-to-date AND you have automated updates enabled.

Here’s how to do that on some of the more popular platforms:

Windows 10

  • Operating system updates are done through Settings -> Update & Security and just verify your settings (active hours, restart options, etc)
  • Apps downloaded through the Microsoft Store are done through Microsoft Store -> Settings and make sure “Update apps automatically” is turned on
  • Apps downloaded manually will need to be updated through the settings in those apps

Mac OS X High Sierra

  • Both Operating System and app updates are done through System Preferences -> App Store and make sure “Automatically check for updates” (with appropriate preferences) is checked

Android O

  • Operating System automatic updates are enabled by default, but you can verify by going to System -> System update to see the last date and time the phone checked
  • To make sure your apps are updated, visit Play Store -> Settings -> Auto-update apps and select the appropriate choice (wifi only or at any time)

iOS 11

  • Operating System updates are in Settings -> General -> Software Update; these are automatically enabled, but you can verify here
  • App updates are enabled in Settings -> iTunes & App Stores and toggle “Updates” to on

See you tomorrow!