"Updates always seem to want to install at annoying times!" | "It's my system. I can do with it as I want." | "I don't use automatic updates, and instead I apply patches manually." | "If it's not broke, don't fix it." | "Updates change too much stuff." | "Updates take ages." | "I don't trust Microsoft/Apple/Google!"

If you're regularly delaying the roll out of patches and updates on your Mac or PC, cut it out. You’ve got plenty of excuses, but none of them really holds water.

Of course, you aren’t the only one to blame. Manufacturers like Apple and Microsoft are equally culpable. There is plenty of blame to go around.

So why should you not postpone those patches and updates. We have one word. It’s not a real word, but it’s well known: WannaCry. This malware’s ability to infiltrate and hold ransom thousands of computers is why it is essential to promptly respond to fixes sent by Microsoft or Apple. Afterall, an attacker can’t sneak through a window if the window has already been closed off.

But patching can be an agonizingly slow or irritating process, and they are useless if you don’t do them correctly and promptly. Promptly, by definition here, is hours; days if necessary, and certainly not weeks or months.

One thing that needs to end immediately is disabling automatic updates. No excuses. And yes, while that excuse may have some validity to it, you still need to do it.

And the most effective way to patch systems is to automate the process. And you mess with or disable these mechanisms at your peril.

Ten years ago, disabling automatic updates might have been something that you could get away with, but fast-paced malware is evidence that this isn't the case any more. The timespan from a vulnerability being disclosed to patches being released to a widespread attack can be a few weeks.

Patching is a major pain. It's time-consuming, it messes with workflow, it is often inconvenient, and it can be a roll of the dice that you'll break something or not. If you are a home user, you can roll the dice and take a chance, and if things go bad then you brought it on yourself. If you are an SMB or enterprise it's an entirely different matter. Depending on the attack, are you really that confident your business can survive it?

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