Broker Check

Protect Your Data from Security Breaches

October 16, 2021

Last month, Apple sent out a notice urging some of its users to update their operating systems.* The reason? A vulnerability had been discovered that hackers could use to gain access to users’ computers and other products. If this sounds like a familiar story, it should. Similar scenarios have made headlines often in recent years.

Hackers and other bad actors are constantly looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit to access the data of individuals and businesses. Your data could be at risk and you may not even know it.

A Solution May Already Be Available
The good news, however, is that tech companies have grown increasingly diligent about identifying vulnerabilities in their products and fixing them. As with the Apple example, these fixes frequently come in the form of a patch.

While patches are a great way to fix vulnerabilities, those patches usually only work if you update your operating system. Updating your operating system takes time, but it is a small price to pay for added security.

In fact, several of the data breaches that have recently made the news should never have occurred because patches had already been rolled out to address the specific vulnerabilities. In some cases, the patch has been available for 10 or more years!

How to Protect Yourself
You can take some simple steps to protect your data and your devices:

  • Don’t ignore update notices. We’ve all picked up our phone, seen a notice that an update is available, and hit the “Not Now” button. It may not be convenient to update your system at that moment, but make it a point to tackle this task ASAP. Patches or other important security features could be included in the update.
  • Remember your network and servers. If you own a business, you may have additional devices to protect, such as servers and network devices. This will help to protect your customers’ data as well as your own.
  • Be proactive. If you hear about a security vulnerability that might impact one of your devices, check it out. Software and tech companies usually have a section of their website devoted to security, such as Apple’s Security Updates page. These pages offer the latest updates and guidance you can follow to protect yourself.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The best way to mark the occasion is to make plans to protect your data, your devices, and your privacy.

Warm Regards,

*Wodinsky, Shoshana. “Go Update Your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch Right Now.” Gizmodo. September 13, 2021.