Keep Your Applications Secure

Keep Your Applications Secure

Published 11/2/23

Out of the box your laptop, tablet, and smartphone have only a few applications (apps), and they tend to not be very sophisticated for their intended task (think Notepad, for example).  The good news is that those applications are usually updated automatically when you update your operating system.

To personalize your devices and make them more useful, you download a variety of apps for work and/or play.  But, you need to be careful with the apps you choose to install.  Every day there are apps posted by hackers on the internet and mobile app stores.  While the app stores attempt to keep many of the bad apps at bay, do not download apps from links in emails you receive!

Suspicious applications will contain vulnerabilities that can be used to take over your device.  Hackers are always trying to find and exploit these bugs.  They are playing a cat-and-mouse game with app developers who should fix their apps to protect their customers.

How do you get the most recent version of the software on your system to avoid being hacked?

First, remove any apps that you are not using (it is hard to hack something that is not there).

A well-designed app will have an easy way to patch itself.  Usually, you will get a notice that there is a new version available to download/install.  An example of this is Google.  When there is an update available you will notice in the top right of your browser window a small object like this:

Just click on that button and follow the instructions to update your software.

The next way to find out if there is an update available is to go to the help tab at the top of the application and look for something about updating the app. You might have to click on the About button.

The least advanced apps require you to go back to their website and manually download and install the latest version. You will need to go to Help and About to find which version you are running and compare it to what they have available.

Caution: If you go to their website and a new version has not been published in a few years, they most likely have stopped development on it and you should consider finding another app that does the same task and that has active support.

Please remember that many devices in the office and at home need to be updated regularly. For example, printers, thermostats, home security devices, Wi-Fi access points, and smart home devices.

Interested in further reading?
How to keep your apps up to date in Windows 10 and 11 | Computerworld

11 Best Free Software Updater Programs (September 2023) (

How To Keep Your Devices Up-To-Date | Simply Geeky