Lifestyle

To upgrade or not upgrade?

WE ARE often asked - "I have got a message on the screen telling me to update xyz - is this safe?"

There are many software applications on your computer that should be updated and at the top of this list is the Microsoft operating system itself (your version of Windows).

Why do we update? In many cases it is because a flaw in the original software has been found and the update will 'patch' or fix the flaw.

In other cases an update may even provide some extra features in the software and the programmers are giving you these extra features for free or as part of a maintenance agreement.

Unfortunately some of the viruses and malware (spyware and Trojans) that are around are disguised as an update or something that you think you should be downloading.

The ultimate goal of these scams is to either bring your computer to its knees as far as its performance is concerned or to gain access to personal information, bank account details or credit card details.

This leaves many people confused over whether to allow any updates onto their computer and in a 'dammed if you do but dammed if you don't' situation.

The following list of 'good' updates will cover the majority of circumstances but obviously can't be a complete list as there are millions of software applications in the world today which require legitimate updating from time to time.

As we have already mentioned, Microsoft updates are a good thing and should be allowed to update your computer.

The next most popular will probably be Java, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player and Apple QuickTime.

All of these software packages often need updating and these updates are fine and should be allowed.

Further to the software applications mentioned above, if you are running software such as QuickBooks, MYOB, Adobe, AutoCAD, etc, they will all want to be updated or patched every so often as well.

Normally they will notify you by either letter or email or the software will 'pop up' a window advising of this.

Again if you are not sure you can either google for more information about the update or email the company directly to check if the update is valid and legitimate.

We are also seeing the manufacturers of computers wanting to roll out updates to either their own software or even what we call firmware updates (direct updates to the programmable chips on their hardware).

These updates can also often solve problems associated with the operation of their hardware and should normally be allowed.

Some examples of 'purported updates' or 'pop ups' which are dangerous and should be ignored are the types which are usually more generic in nature such as the following - "Click here to speed up your PC", "Your PC is infected - click here to fix", "Your Internet connection is not optimised - click here to speed up", "your bank is doing an upgrade - click here to renew your details", "you are the one millionth visitor to our website - click here to claim your free blah blah", "we can save the whales - click here to add your support and we will donate an extra dollar for you".

The other thing is using good old common sense - if it sounds too good to be true….

Topics:  computers, lifestyle, technology




Child care pornographer released from jail

Man took and shared photos of naked boys

Rebels charge into second straight grand final

SOMETHING TO CHEER FOR: South Grafton Rebels celebrate after Jordan Walker (right) crashed across for his first try of Sunday's semi-final.

South Grafton Rebels create club history booking back to back finals

A special week for Legacy

NOT FORGOTTEN: Legacy widows lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park, Grafton, on Sunday, to start Legacy Week, the organisation's only fundraiser for the year.

Legacy week is vital for widows of Australian servicemen.

Latest deals and offers

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m