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



Last hurrah for 2016 in Sydney for Midnight Basketballers

FAST BREAK: A player dribbles down the court at the Midnight Baskeball grand finals night.

Midnight Basketball has wrapped up another successful season.

Young girl with big plans in the surf

SURF'S UP: Maclean grommet Lilli Young is ready to show what she's got at the Hurley BL's Blast Off junior competition in Sydney.

Lilli Young could be a name worth storing in the memory bank

Swap meet and vintage car display at Maclean, Sunday

Greg Dennis at the Grafton Vintage Car Club Show and Shine in South Grafton earlier this year. The club has swap meet and display at Maclean Showground on Sunday.

Swap meet and car display at Maclean on Sunday.

Local Partners

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

How the Gruen guy's t-shirts took on a life of their own

Documentary filmmaker and Gruen panellist Todd Sampson.

What started out as simple workwear has become a trademark

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.