don't put off updatesWe live in a technology-saturated world, and all technology — from apps to software to operating systems — requires consistent updates to function properly. It can be annoying to have to constantly run updates, especially when they can slow down your computer or device, but you shouldn’t put these updates off. While occasionally, a person might have a specific reason they want to avoid an update — such as those who are waiting to upgrade to Windows 10 until they see how well other people like it — in general, avoiding an update can be boiled down either laziness or misunderstanding of why updates are crucial to keep your computers and devices operating smoothly. Here are a few reasons why you should reconsider putting off updates.

Your security depends on it

When it comes to security, you’re only as good as the programs you’re running. A computer, mobile device or security software that hasn’t been properly updated could potentially be putting you at risk for viruses, hackers and other bringers of seriously bad times. Consider the recent Stagefright bug which affected most Android phone users and required a software update to be resolved. Most Internet security programs and operating systems like Windows 10, as well as many apps, update automatically; however, some require you to enable or start the update, which means you need to pay attention to any pop-up notifications or alerts on your computers and devices so you are aware when updates are needed. While updating might seem annoying, consider how much more annoying it would be to deal with a virus you got because your computer was left vulnerable without a necessary security patch.

Updated programs run better

Not all updates are about security — many are simply fixes for problems or bugs that cause a program not to work as well as it should. Maybe your favorite social media app crashes whenever you try to take a picture from it. The developer of the app will likely be aware that this is a problem and issue an update to fix it — if you ignore that update, you’ll simply be keeping yourself frustrated by a malfunctioning app. In order to ensure that your devices and programs run the way you want them to, make sure to check for and run updates on a regular basis. Often, if you’re having a problem with a program or an app, checking for and installing any available updates will solve it for you.

You won’t miss out on great new features

Technology is about constant evolution, and the people creating the devices and programs we use know that today’s users are looking ahead to what comes next. To keep their creations relevant, updates are made that bring in new or enhanced features to help make whatever it is better. If you put off updates, you won’t get to experience these new features — which is definitely a shame. Nobody wants to be out of the loop, so by keeping your technology up-to-date, you’re ensuring that you will remain squarely in the know.

It’s usually possible to go back

Sometimes, you update a program or device and it just doesn’t work out the way you hoped. Maybe the updated version is incompatible with your other apps, or maybe you just don’t like the way it looks or works. So long as you aren’t putting your security at risk by doing so, it’s usually possible to reverse the changes and go back to the older version. This is easier when it comes to operating systems, but it’s also possible to undo updates for virtually any app or program — though it might take some Googling on your part to figure out how.

How can I make sure I catch updates?

Some programs or apps will prompt you to update, either with a pop-up or a push notification depending on the type of technology you are using. Others will update automatically — apps downloaded on Android devices through the Google Play store frequently update themselves on a regular basis. However, sometimes you will either need to look for an update by going into your program’s settings or whatever app store you use to check for them. Some updates, especially ones for apps that access your email, camera or personal information, will require you to agree to permissions and thus can’t update automatically. If you can’t figure out how to update your technology, you can always refer to the FAQ or Help sections of its official website for assistance.

Maintaining your security as well as ensuring that you are able to use your technology to the fullest is what makes it imperative to update regularly. If there are updates you’ve been putting off, now is the time. Just make sure that you’ve got some time set aside, since some updates can take a while to process, and you wouldn’t want to start a 20-minute update on a computer you have to use in 10 minutes to finish a presentation. Worried about being able to keep track? Many Internet security software suites helpfully let you know when programs on your computer need updates, and you can learn all about how this software works and which are the best by reading through our Internet security software reviews.