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The Pitfalls of Failing to Update Computer Systems

REMIND ME LATER update? The Pitfalls of Failing to Update Computer Systems Using a browser or operating system that hasn't been updated to the newest edition can leave computers and mobile devices open to a vast range of online threats. Malware attacks are often targeted towards weaknesses in non-updated software, making those of us who don't immediately update vulnerable to viruses and hacks. Here's a run-down of the most popular operating systems and browsers, and why it's so important to stop clicking 'Remind Me Later and actually update them. SMOOTH OPERATORS Most popular home Most popular work operating systems in the UK: operating systems in the UK: 40% WINDOWS 7 36% WINDOWS 7 20% WINDOWS 8 14% WINDOWS XP 13% WINDOWS XP 13% WINDOWS 8 UPDATES WINDOWS XP · WINDOWS 7 · WINDOWS 8 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Windows 8 Windows 8 was first released in 2012 and upgraded as Windows 8.1 in October 2013. Windows 7 Windows 7 was originally released in 2009, with updates being released in March 2010, December 2012, February 2013, March 2013 and October 2013. Windows XP Windows XP was released to manufacturing in 2001, with service pack updates being released in September 2002, February 2003, August 2004, August 2006, September 2007 and April 2008. The final Windows XP update was completed on 8th April 2014, when extended support ended. Microsoft will continue to provide antivirus software and malicious software removal tools for XP until July 2015. THE XP PROBLEM At the time of the final update, NetMarketShare estimated that: OF THE 1.5 BILLION PCS IN THE WORLD 27.7% WERE RUNNING WINDOWS XP. This meant that over 400 million machines were left unsupported. Windows XP was much less secure than Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Vista, which made it more of a target for attacks. After the updates ended, it became even less secure and Microsoft stated that: "XP cannot be considered safe to use after support ends". WHY ARE UPDATES SO IMPORTANT? Operating systems protect computers from malware attacks. When they are not updated, computers are left open to viruses, so no more updates for XP means no more security support. Other antivirus tools are available, but Microsoft claims that these have limited effectiveness when used with an out-of-date operating system. As a significant number of people still use XP, there are a large number of computers being left open to malware attacks. JUST BROWSING Most popular home Internet browsers in the UK: 38% 30% 17% GOOGLE CHROME INTERNET EXPLORER MOZILLA FIREFOX Most popular work Internet browsers in the UK: 45% 26% 11% INTERNET EXPLORER GOOGLE CHROME MOZILLA FIREFOX Although the majority of people are using what should be a secure browser to access the Internet, many do not know which version of that browser they are using: 56% DON'T KNOW WHAT VERSION OF THEIR BROWSER THEY USE AT WORK 42% DON'T KNOW WHAT VERSION THEY USE AT HOME Being unaware of whether a browser has been updated makes computers more susceptible to malware attacks, it more likely an out-of-da version is being used. Like operating system updates, browser updates are designed to protect against viruses and other security attacks. Those continuing to use Windows XP are likely to be running Internet Explorer 8, which stopped receiving support on that system in April 2014. The only way to ensure that these computers are not exposed to additional threats is to not use the Internet, ONLY 29% OF PEOPLE SAY THEY ALWAYS UPDATE THEIR COMPUTER SYSTEMS. 20% SAY THEY NEVER DO. WHY ARE BROWSER UPDATES NEGLECTED AT WORK? 52% 27% 5% 3% need an administrator to The IT policy Don't know Can't be bothered doesn't allow it how to update to update update it for me 39% OF PEOPLE SAY THEY ALWAYS UPDATE THEIR HOME COMPUTER SYSTEMS. 21% SAY THEY SOMETIMES DO. WHY ARE BROWSER UPDATES NEGLECTED AT HOME? 37% 16% 11% 8% Don't know Think that the current Don't see a Can't be bothered how to update systems are fine reason to update to update Running outdated browsers is a serious security risk for both the individual user and wider users of the Intemet. Personal information may be stolen and passed on, or thousands of spam emails could be sent from their account without their knowledge. This puts other computers at risk and can cause widespread damage. STAYING PROTECTED Some simple tips to keep computers as safe as possible: update? Make sure operating systems are up-to-date, as running an older version will leave computers open Always update to the latest version of computer systems, including Internet Regularly back up data on an external hard drive or the cloud, but bear in browsers and antivirus software. Alerts about this will usually pop up when the software is opened. mind that these may also be compromised. to security risks. Always have Firewalls switched on when using the For computers still running Windows XP, consider purchasing Internet, as this is the first line of defence to protect a new computer, as older ones are unlikely to have the power needed to run Windows 7 or Windows 8. computers from attacks. SOURCES COURTESY OF Www.IMPRIMA.COM creative ©commons

The Pitfalls of Failing to Update Computer Systems

shared by MediaworksUK on May 17
Using a browser or operating system that hasn’t been updated to the newest edition can leave computers and mobile devices open to a vast range of online threats.


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