Do you find yourself dismissing those update notifications when they come up? If you do, you may want to reconsider that option.
Keeping your your operating system and software up to date gives you protection from a variety of malware attacks. Everyday applications such as Adobe PDF Reader, Quick Time, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Office are all prime candidates for exploitation if unlatched.
Most software will check for updates automatically - either individually or through the system update functionality. Despite this, people don't always upgrade their software; it was found, for example, that 60 percent of those using Adobe Reader were using vulnerable versions. If something does not have new features or works just fine, people often feel less compelled to install the update (also known as 'patches' or 'service packs').
A computer that is not updated has big 'open doors' to attackers, allowing them to install malware to collect your personal information or to take complete control of your computer. Even if you are running other security programs (antivirus, antispyware, firewalls), an unpatched exploit could cause problems on your computer.
As an incentive to install these updates, you will likely see performance improvements from regularly updating your OS and software. Bug fixes, enhancements, optimizations and other changes will improve your computing experience - as well as giving you the important security fixes.
Though it may feel inconvenience to close your applications and restart your computer in order to install new updates, we hope you'll reconsider dismissing update notifications the next time they pop up for you!