We’re closing out Cyber Smart week with a gentle reminder that your Trade Me accounts aren’t the only thing that needs protection.
With so many of your electronics and apps set to automatically update these days, it can be easy to forget that some of them don’t.
Operating systems (OS) and internet browsers can fall through the proverbial 'update cracks' and in turn act as the gateway to breaching your online security.
It’s easy enough to click the “remind me later” option when an update request pops up, because who doesn’t love waiting a good 40 minutes for a reboot, but hitting that can leave gaps in your device’s security.
Take a recent Bluetooth vulnerability as an example. Blueborne is a vulnerability that can affect devices that use Bluetooth; computer, phones, tablets and smart fridges. Blueborne would allow anyone who is within range to gain control over your device without you needing to do anything. It won’t matter if the device is locked or sleeping, if a scammer is within range they can get in.
So if you’ve been hitting that reminder button for the last month you won’t have the latest OS updates, that protect against this scam, and you won’t be safe.
Updating the OS on your device is one of the best things you can do to help protect yourself against cyber-crime.
Meanwhile some internet browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, automatically update so you don’t need to worry about this unless you choose to turn that function off.
The same can also be said for browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer which are linked to your OS, and update when your device does. However if you have a different browser or have disabled the auto-update function you may need to do this yourself.
In a perfect world all our members would have the most up to date browsers and apps. This wouldn’t only make the lives of our developers much easier, but it’d ultimately make everything better for everyone involved.
As the user you’d be better protected, have any bugs from previous versions ironed out, and not run into any Trade Me site functionality issues because the browser you’re using is too old.
So from all of us here at Trade Me please, please, update your stuff – and stay safe online!