When It Comes to Installing Updates, Don’t Forget Your Desktop
The calls are definitely on the rise for mobile device users to become better educated on how to keep their phones and tablets secure, and security experts are stressing the need for desktop users to follow many of the same instructions for protecting their devices at home.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent your home computer from being hacked or falling victim to viruses is to stay on top of updating third-party apps. A recent study shows that the majority of attacks do not come through flaws in Apple and Microsoft operating systems but from the apps stored on them.
ReadWriteWeb's Antone Gonsalves discusses this matter, most likely in response to the nearly nonstop coverage of Adobe Flash’s security woes even after multiple patches have been issued. Gonsalves points out the misguided blame that many people place on Microsoft specifically for the majority of the security issues PCs face.
Rather than go through the expense of battling Microsoft directly, many hackers now focus on low-hanging fruit, such as the Java and Adobe Flash browser plug-ins, which are often left un-patched even by users who conscientiously update Windows and Office.
Theoretically, Microsoft could overhaul Windows to place each third-party application in its own container, making it more difficult for hackers to load malware in the operating system.
Gonsalves goes on to conclude that the suggestion that Microsoft place third-party apps into their own containers is not as easy as it seems, and that PC users simply must update their apps as new versions become available.
Desktop computers and mobile devices often come preloaded with third-party apps, often to the dismay of consumers, who find that removing them from a device can be difficult, if not altogether impossible. Third-party developers pay a lot of money to desktop and mobile manufacturers to put their apps onto these devices, which they likely would not continue to do if their apps could be removed with the simple press of a button.
But with the simple press of a button, you can protect your home computer and your mobile device by updating these apps—whether you use them regularly or not.