Menu
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



Strong winds, big waves close beaches

ROUGH: Strong winds and large swell made swimming dangerous at Brooms Head this week.

Clarence beaches close due to weather

Survey reveals trucking second most deadly job

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: A policeman gathers forensic evidence from the scene of the double fatality two-truck collision on the Gwydir Highway on Monday.

Trucking second most dangerous job in Australia, survey finds

League enforcer ready for final flight

CRUNCH: Lower Clarence Magpies enforcer Ryan Binge levels Marist Brothers half Joey Gordon.

Lower Clarence Magpies get major signing boost for 2018 season.

Local Partners

Choices you make when the Rolls isn’t posh enough

Once you’ve shelled out a million on your Rolls-Royce, you can go one better with a bespoke version limited only by imagination.

People love $1.80 Bunnings hack

When mum Gina saw the tip shared online, she sent her husband to Bunnings and said goodbye to kitchen clutter forever.

“The kitchen looks so uncluttered..."

Truckie's road rage left teacher 'terrified, shaking'

A Wollongbar woman says she is shaken after two terrifying road rage incidents.

"He kept honking his horn and he was tailgating me"

Limos are so last year — get ready for raft of luxury wagons

The Infiniti QX50 arrives in Australia late this year.

There is plenty of new luxury metal on the way.

'NO MIRACLE FIX': Weight-loss surgery taken too lightly

WAIT FOR IT: Dieticians and patients warn that public funding for weight loss surgery could cause people to rush into a risky procedure.

PATIENT says taxpayers shouldn't finance surgery she went through.

Plan to ‘electrocute’ drowsy truck drivers slammed

A rolled truck in Victoria. Picture: Alan Barber

Minister suggests inattentive truckies should be zapped.