A Guide to Software Patching

As a business owner, keeping your data and system applications safe and protected should be a top priority for you. Even if your computer seems to be running fine, not applying software patches greatly increases the risk of malware infection. This article is intended to give you an overview of software patchingand advise you on how to make the best use of it.

What is software patching?

Software patches are designed to make changes to existing computer programs by upgrading them to a newer version. Patching has been around since the release of Windows 95. They allow computer users to update their current applications without having to re-install them all again.

Perfect software does not exist as this would take many long years for developers to design and produce. However, to keep up with consumer demand, they often need to release a new version every year. This means that all software out there has gaps for improvement and may be full of bugs. This is where patches come in – they do not only add new features and components to the software but they may also fix existing bugs and make it more efficient.

In addition, your computer can get infected with viruses without you even realizing. By doing simple things such as browsing the web, watching videos, or communicating online, you could easily attract malware to get into your device. By applying patches to your system, you are also applying an additional layer of security that could protect you against such malicious intruders that could otherwise mess up your computer very badly.

What needs patching?

Hackers are increasingly finding new ways to take advantage of the bugs that your applications may have and break into your system. In addition, the more widely used the software is, the more likely it is that it has more vulnerabilities and the more attackers would try to target it in order to exploit them. Therefore, applying patches whenever they come out is crucial for making your software stronger against hacker attacks. This way, you would also have a better control over your company data.

However, it may not be that easy to get new software patches for every application. Many companies do not release patches readily available to download since the applications are not widely-used. In this case, you need to make sure that you contact the developer of the app in order to receive updates. In addition, important software you should never forget to patch is your anti-virus. Having an obsolete anti-virus is one of the worst security fails that you can allow to happen.

How can you apply a patch?

In order to make sure you always catch the latest important update that could improve the efficiency of your system or eliminate pitfalls, you need to make sure to turn on the automatic updates. This way, you don’t need to worry about having to download and install them yourself as your computer will take care of it. Again, for applications whose updates are not automatically supported by your operating system, you need to contact the developer individually.

If you identify any issues about the performance of your system after applying the patch, you need to make sure to report it back. Even though patches are normally tested before release, there could always be things that the contributors have failed to notice. If you do report this, however, they may be able to fix it and improve the performance of your application.

In addition, IT experts such as Syntax IT Support are well placed to give you advice on software patches to help you navigate this tricky area.

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