Applying updates as soon as they’re available can help protect you from cybercriminals, as updates often contain security patches which fix known flaws in products that attackers can use to compromise your devices, and new security features that make it harder for them to gain access to your devices. As well as new user features, fixes for bugs and performance improvements, that’ll enhance your user experience.
To keep your software and devices up to date you should always ensure that automatic updates are enabled, where possible, and that you install updates when prompted. If for any reason you can’t proceed with installing an update straight away, for example because the time isn’t convenient or you need internet connection or a certain battery percentage to proceed, you should aim to apply the update within 14 days.
In addition to keeping operating systems, web browsers and extensions, third-party applications, and antivirus software that you use up to date, you should also keep ‘smart’ devices, such as smart speakers, fitness trackers (Apple Watch, FitBit), and security cameras up to date, by referring to the support area within the manufacturer’s official website, and looking for information about updating your devices.
It’s also important when choosing new device(s), to consider how long the manufacturer typically supports its products. As devices, operating systems, and applications are generally supported for a limited time before they are considered obsolete and no longer updated. So, you’ll want to opt for products that tend to receive updates for a longer period of time, so you don’t have to keep replacing unsupported devices.
For more advice on keeping your software and devices up to date, including how to keep ‘smart’ devices up to date and what to do when your device no longer receives updates, please read the please read the 'National Cyber Security Centre's guidance on top tips for staying secure online'.