Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Sunny Staff
It’s never been more important to keep your software up to date to protect your WordPress website against threats. The latest statistics show that more than 300,000 new malware programs get created every day and that hackers steal 75 records every second on a global scale. Worse still, 66% of businesses who’ve suffered from cyber-attacks aren’t confident that they can recover from the damage done to their websites and their customers’ trust in their brands.
Cybersecurity is critical for everyone. But it’s especially crucial for business owners who host websites online. Employing adequate protection for your website protects it against breaches, hacking attempts, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. One of the best and simplest ways to safeguard your site against these threats is to keep the software you use up to date.
This article will explore the importance of keeping your software updated for yourself, your website, and your valued users.
The Importance of Updating Your Software to Keep Your Website Secure
1) Software Updates Have Multiple Purposes
It’s tempting to put off performing software updates when the requests pop up on your personal laptop or work computer. However, regularly updating your software has several essential benefits.
Software updates are essentially revisions. They’re designed to repair security holes that developers have discovered and to fix and remove computer bugs that could pose dangers later down the line. Updates can also provide new features for your software and devices. And at the same time, they’ll remove outdated software or software that’s prone to getting compromised.
Additionally, updates provide improved support from third-party vendors. For instance, if you were to find a bug or flaw in your software and need some guidance completing a task or report, you may need to contact a third-party vendor directly to receive support. Using the latest software versions will make it easier to contact your vendor and request the help you require. Many software vendors will recommend performing an upgrade if you’re experiencing any issues with their products, and some will only provide support if you are running the latest versions.
2) Updates Patch Security Holes
Security holes and flaws provide the perfect opportunities for hackers to access your software and any data stored within it. Software vulnerabilities are weaknesses found in software programs and operating systems. Hackers can exploit them by writing pieces of code that target the vulnerabilities, which are delivered in the form of ‘malware’, or malicious software.
Your computer can get infected with one of these pieces of code very easily, with minimal action on your part. Simply visiting an unsecured website, opening a compromised email or message, or running an infected executable file can leave you prone to cyber-attack. When this happens, the malware can hijack any data saved on your software or device and even allow criminals to gain control over your device and encrypt your files so that you can no longer access them yourself.
Many software updates are delivered in the form of software patches or in the case of WordPress, core and plugin updates, which cover these security holes and prevent hackers from gaining access to your personal data and that of your business.
3) Software Updates Protect Your On-Site Data and Customer Information
Many WordPress websites allow their users to create accounts using personal details like their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth. All of this information needs to remain private to protect these users’ identities. If you run an eCommerce site, your customers may have entered and stored their bank account information online, which is especially sensitive data. It’s also very valuable to criminals.
Cybercriminals can exploit outdated software to gain access to this user data, which they can then use to commit identity theft, enable others to commit crimes, or sell the data on the dark web. They may hold the data ransom, demanding money in exchange for an encryption key to get the information back.
Data breaches can seriously impact your customers’ trust in your website and cause many hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damages in lost income. Keeping your software and operating system updated keeps hackers out and prevents them from gaining access to your website users’ personal information.
4) Updating Keeps Your Website Users Safe
A website that’s compromised by malware can easily infect the devices of any customer or user who visits that site. If your own site is infected, this means that anyone who has an account with you or visits your platform will expose themselves to the same cyber-attacks that your own site has suffered.
Trusted security programs and regular updates can help to keep your website secure and safe from attacks, which could potentially protect everyone who interacts with your website as well.
The safer your customers feel while using your site, the more likely they will return. The more secure and convenient features like embedded free invoice template solutions and secure banking options and card payment methods you can add to your site, the more trust you will build with users in the long term.
5) Updates Improve Your Site and Devices’ Performance
Newer, updated versions of programs are generally optimized for speed and performance. When you update your software regularly, you will benefit from these performance improvements, and so will your website.
Security updates offer fixes for past performance and speed issues, improved algorithms and implementation procedures, more efficient user interfaces, and other changes that will enhance the usability and scalability of your software. If your website’s performance is not what it should be, consider performing updates for your dependencies to keep it running efficiently.
Putting Safety First
Keeping your software up to date benefits you by keeping your devices secure and protecting your WordPress website. It’s part of regular maintenance and should never be ignored.
Updates can also benefit your customers and users as they provide them with a safe, reliable, and efficient on-site experience that doesn’t pose any risks to their personal information.
We specialize in WordPress solutions that take care of everything related to keeping your site safe, secure, up-to-date, optimized, and humming along. To see what we can do for you and your site, contact us today!