50 PLUS Tech Talk! What You Need To Know About Computer Updates

Will Tompson, Tech Tutors
Will Tompson, Tech Tutors


349 5757 Updates, Updates, Updates!

It seems that computer programs are always updating, but which updates are important and which updates are not? In this article we will get you up-to-date, from Adobe to Windows Security.


Most updates or patches (think a leaking boat) are security related, which means they are needed to fix vulnerabilities the programmers have found in their program.

So now that we know what an update is, we can worry about how and when to install them. Generally speaking, you should install all of the updates that are released for every program used regularly.  However, the most important ones are for the operating system (Windows Updates), and following that, the updates for programs that interact with the Internet.  A good Anti-Virus program will protect you, even if you are slow to update, so make sure you have one.

When I do bi-yearly clean-ups for my customers, I always configure the updates to ‘automatic’ on programs that are essential. That means, the first notification they get as a user is: “This update has been downloaded, when would you like to install it?”

If you are comfortable with computers and want to do the updates on your own, here are some helpful tips below.  However, if you are still unsure or have any further questions give us a call at TechTutors. We offer a computer maintenance package that includes: updates, clean ups, and antivirus protection to keep your computer running its best.

Tips for Installing Updates:

 1. Take your time: Do not rush the process, and if you do not have time to do it that moment, wait until you do.

  1. Read the cues: Updates will give you an idea of what is going on during the process. You may not understand every word, but you should not proceed until you understand at least the gist of it.


  1. Checkout the check boxes: Even reliable brands will partner with other companies and tool bars. In this Java example they have partnered with Ask(a not so popular search engine). You want to uncheck these boxes before you proceed and click the next button.


  1. If you have questions, call a Professional:

At TechTutors our goal is to offer computer technical support and training so that everyone can use their technology safely and without stress. If you have any questions about this article or any other technology related issues, please do not hesitate to contact us, or check out the links below to stay up to date on the latest.



Lastly, be careful where you are clicking ‘update’.  Remember that the Internet is entirely made up of advertized space, so if there is a banner ad (a paid for ad on another website trying to attract traffic/clicks) that says you need to update Java or Adobe, you need to be wary… Update notifications should be prompted internally (not from web browsers* or emails). In the image  Fig.1 above, the update notification came from the task bar and is safe. Any time you see an advertisement in your browser (*Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla) you need to think, “They paid for that space: How are they making money there and how are the advertisements making money?” because they are. It is also worth noting that downloading programs that will allegedly speed up your computer and remove error messages are 95% snake oil. If you have any doubt, please call a professional for advice.