How to Update All Your Gear (For Safety!)

 
 

Advice on how to stay safe with iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, Your TV, and Routers.

Wired.com, Mar. 13, 2017
By Brian Barrett

This week’s WikiLeaks revelations, which showed that the CIA can compromise a huge range of devices, shouldn’t send you into paroxysms of fear over your smartphone. It should, though, be a solid reminder that one of the best ways to keep yourself safe from hackers is also one of the simplest: Update your gear.

What allows hackers access to your devices, after all, are breakdowns and vulnerabilities in the firmware (read: operating system) that runs them. Many companies push out updated versions of that firmware regularly, and those releases often include important security updates. A recent example? In January, Apple pushed out iOS 10.2.1, which which patched over a dozen vulnerabilities—some of them major.

That’s an extreme but not isolated example. And while there are plenty of other tin-foil hat strategies to securing your digital lives, the absolute simplest, surest way to achieve a baseline of protection is usually just to hit “update.”

With that in mind, here’s how to keep all of your gear as up to date as possible. Find a few hours some weekend to back up your stuff, and then bang out the update. It won’t make you anything close to bulletproof, but it should grant you some much-needed peace of mind.

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