Updates updates updates always updates!
One of the most common questions I am commonly asked is which updates should I install? Every time you go near your computer you inevitably see a program requesting an update, which of these updates is really needed and what differences do they make to your computer.
The most important update of all is the Windows update, this should happen automatically on a weekly basis and you will often see a little yellow shield or a little blue Square with a yellow swirl on the taskbar on the bottom right.
If you see Windows installing updates when you shut your computer down for more than two days in a row then it's a good indication that the automatic updates are not installing correctly. You can check these updates are being installed by clicking on start, all programs, Windows update.
So what other programs should be updated, top of the list is your anti-virus software again this will more than likely update on its own whenever it needs to.
Important Programs that should be updated:
Browsers: Firefox , Safari, chrome, Opera (Internet Explorer will update as part of Windows updates).
If you see any other programs requesting to update you should read carefully which program the request is coming from, and then decide whether you need the program at all if not then it is best to uninstall software from the control panel. If however it something you use and want to keep then you should do the update.
What do updates do: In most cases updates to fix known problems, in other words they fix parts of the program that are not working properly?
The other main reason for updates is to close security problems or holes, this is especially important for programs that use the Internet as hackers regularly manage to find and exploit problems and holes in software.
The manufacturers are constantly battling against these hackers and closing the holes and rewriting the programs to make the more secure this is especially the case with Adobe Flash and Java, so it is very important to accept the updates when you see them.
Browsers: what is a browser? A browser is the piece of software you use to access the Internet.
There are a number of choices of browser but does it make any difference which one you use, the answer is no. All modern browsers are very secure and very reliable so the choice of which one to use is purely down to personal choice.
Internet Explorer is probably the most well-known as it comes bundled with Windows. This browser only runs on Windows computers and is not available on Apple Mac or LINUX PCs.
Firefox has been around for quite a while and was traditionally more secure than other browsers, unfortunately it has lost its competitive edge and is very quickly slipping into third place due to its constant changes and inability to show some websites properly (including the flyer which has big problems using Firefox 13) Available on PC, Mac, Linux.
Chrome one of the newest browsers to reach the Internet made by Google, a very good browser very secure but not for everybody as the interface is very cut down and minimalistic making it a little difficult sometimes to know where to type addresses and searches. Available on PC, Mac, Linux.
Safari made by Apple it runs on all Apple Mac computers but also on Windows, it's not compatible with all websites and can act a little strangely at times very good on the Mac but not so good on the PC. Available on PC, Mac.
Opera a browser that's been around for a very long time it comes in two versions a basic free version that has adverts and they pay for version that has more features and no adverts. Available on PC, Mac, Linux.