Why is it important to update your antivirus

Constantly updating your antivirus is the only weapon we have to be able to put a stop to hacker attacks and make viruses harmless

When we read an article about computer security we often notice among the advice the phrase: "it is important to always update your antivirus". According to several researches, this simple step is the most important one to make our computer safe.

Many of us, when we receive the notification of the antivirus update on the screen, ignore the message and keep on doing what we were doing. Thinking "I'll do it later" is the best way to get caught in a hacker's trap. Others simply don't care about these details, partly out of laziness and partly out of lack of knowledge on the subject. Yet most hacker attacks point to this factor. Each new update protects our machine from bugs, vulnerabilities, and new threats just discovered by experts.

What's at risk for those who don't update

It's important for users to understand that keeping antivirus software up to date isn't just a matter of interface changes, but is the only way to fix critical vulnerabilities in the system. As an example, many Windows users still fall victim to the Stuxnet malware. This virus exploits a vulnerability that was fixed, through a security patch, by Microsoft about four years ago. The reason why Stuxnet is still so successful is simple: the infected servers and PCs were never properly updated. So it is not enough to install an antivirus to secure your machine. We have to constantly update the protection software but also the operating system, because manufacturers often release security patches along with new features. And the constant update of the installed antivirus improves our security also in case of attacks defined as "Zero Day" (i.e. those hacker threats still unknown even to experts).