With the exponential increase in the number and sophistication of cyber threats, one step we can all take to keep all our devices safe and secure is to regularly update the operating system (OS). Fearmongering aside, updating your OS is essential for maintaining the security and performance of all your devices and applications.  

While Northeastern-managed computers and mobile devices are automatically updated, here are some reasons to keep the OS of your personal and Northeastern unmanaged devices up-to-date: 

  1. Improved security—updates often include patches to vulnerabilities or bugs that hackers can exploit to access your system or data. By installing the latest updates, you can reduce the risk of cyberattacks and protect your personal and business information. 
  2. Enhanced device performance—OS updates are not only about security but also about enhancing the functionality and usability of your device. Over time, your computer’s operating system will become outdated, resulting in a slower and less efficient system. Upgrading your OS to the newest version will improve your productivity allowing you to run programs and other tasks more efficiently. 
  3. Vendor support—Vendors provide software updates designed to keep your device running at its best. If you’re using an old OS, it might not be supported by the vendor. Third-party vendor apps and services often end support for older operating systems. This means that you won’t be able to receive new updates for the device. 

Did you know you can enable automatic updates?

This is the easiest way to keep your personal computers and mobile devices up-to-date. Find options for your device in the settings or preferences menu. 

Some updates or upgrades require significant bandwidth and the occasional device reboot. To ensure your device updates at times convenient for you, you can also set your device to update only at certain times and/or days. 

Plan ahead for your next device

Keep in mind that operating systems are constantly evolving. New devices continue to be released and come pre-loaded with the newest operating systems.  If you’re unable to upgrade the OS on your device, it should be upgraded or replaced as technology evolves. 

Consider using the discount program to order discounted computers for personal or institutional use. Students, faculty, and staff are eligible to purchase devices that meet university standards through this program.  

By keeping the three reasons above in mind and proactively managing your device, you can ensure your device’s OS is always up-to-date and your work is never impacted by inconvenient performance or security issues.  

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