Is updating your electronic devices good or bad? Tips for avoiding risks

L'software update of our electronic devices is an operation that we carry out regularly and, in addition to involving smartphones, tablets and PCs, it affects practically any technological “trinket” in our possession. In relation to this “routine” procedure, many people wonder: Is updating electronic devices bad or good?

In general we can say that installing system updates and the various applications you use is important both for the security and for the proper functioning of the devices. This operation, in fact, does not involve particular risks, as long as you pay attention to some simple precautions, including installing the updates when the device is connected to the power and only after having made a backup.

Why updating electronic devices is useful

A software update is essentially a new version of an operating system or application, which usually includes patches (literally “patches”) to fix any security issues, to improve performance, and sometimes to make aesthetic improvements to the user interface. It is for these reasons that Updating your electronic devices is definitely helpful.

On the front of safety, for example, software updates are one of the most effective weapons for countering cyber attacks by cybercriminals. Over time, in fact, hackers (or, better said, crackers) find new methods to violate security systems that were once inaccessible. If they manage to penetrate a system they can spy on the activities of the unfortunate victim, perhaps by implanting dangerous malware without his knowledge.

Correcting the zero-day vulnerability (i.e. the vulnerabilities of a software that are not yet known to its developers or which, in any case, are known by them but not corrected), software updates significantly raise the security standards of devices, making them, in fact, more difficult to attack .

As for the correction of the so-called “bugs”or errors in the software code that can compromise their correct functioning, this improves the usability of the system and the applications used by eliminating various types of problems, including crash and sudden slowdowns, less than optimal battery use and difficulty connecting to Wi-Fi.

One last positive aspect that we mention concerns occasional workers aesthetic and functional improvements which are included in software updates. Some updates − called in jargon major update (literally “important update”) − bring changes to the graphics and design of the elements visible in the interface (e.g. buttons and icons) or introduce new functions.

It must be said, however, that sometimes particularly “large” system updates, full of many new features and aesthetic innovations, can have the opposite effect from a performance point of view, slowing down the devices (especially if they are relatively old). This is the so-called phenomenon of planned obsolescence.

How to avoid problems during a software update

Ultimately we want to emphasize this aspect: Updating a device's software is a delicate operation which must be done according to the methods provided by the manufacturer.

In fact, there are some possible risks associated with updating software that must be taken into account to avoid potential problems, such as data loss. To keep such problems to a minimum, we advise you to pay attention to the following points.

  • Before installing an update, perform a backup complete with data. If something goes wrong during the update, it will be possible to restore the backup and return the situation to normal, effectively eliminating the chances of irremediably losing files and data.
  • Download the software update after you get there connected to a Wi-Fi network (if possible). This way you will not erode the data available in your telephone plan bundle and you will avoid potential additional charges from your provider.
  • Connect the device to the power supply so that it does not turn off during the update (this can lead to potential data loss).