You often hear and read tips to update your devices regularly, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. But why is this so important?
Your smartphone, tablet, and laptop are full of privacy-sensitive information, but other devices also take advantage of it. You’d rather not have that data out on the street, and by always applying the latest updates, you reduce the chance of this happening. Software updates not only bring new functionality but also security vulnerabilities. Through this vulnerability, malicious parties can access your data, such as your email address, phone number, and password, as well as any (live) camera images.
So it is often not recommended to continue using old devices connected to the Internet. After a few years, updates are usually not released, so that no security holes are closed.
With Android smartphones, manufacturers sometimes stop releasing new updates for two years after release. The exact period varies by manufacturer and model. Samsung and Google both deliver their major updates for a longer period of time i.e. three to four years after release. Apple iPhones get at least five years of updates.
When buying a used device, it is therefore important to pay attention to this ‘best before’ date. An older device that is no longer receiving security updates may be better off recycling.
Installing the latest software updates can also resolve any performance issues. Your smartphone battery might drain faster than you’d like, or navigate through apps and menus might be a lot slower than you’re used to. Updates can fix these issues, but it’s also possible for performance to drop because your device is a bit older. The battery wears out over time, which can reduce its capacity.
Updating your device not only ensures the security of your data but also provides you with the latest features. For example, iOS 16, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, adds several novelties, such as additional focus modes, showing the battery percentage on the home screen, and a renewed accessibility screen. With the arrival of Android 13, you can once again set different languages for each app and apps will now have to ask for permission before you can send push notifications.
Developers often update their apps to keep up with the latest version of the device’s operating system. Over time, the application may stop working with older versions of the operating system. If you do not update your smartphone or tablet, you may not be able to use a particular application. This is also the reason why old smartphones often cannot use WhatsApp.
What devices do I need to update?
In addition to your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, there are plenty of other devices for which updating the software is important. Just think of a smart TV, smart bulbs, or smart dishwasher. Any device that can connect to the Internet is a potential security risk if you do not install the latest updates.
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