Keeping devices and software up to date

From internet routers to smart phones, all electronic devices use software to run them.  These devices can also hold and process a lot of your personal data. It is important to properly protect them from unauthorised use and from viruses (also called malware).

Many of us will use a lot of different software applications and operating systems from PC’s to smart phones, and there is also software which is sometimes called firmware that operates things like smart devices.  It is important that where possible you enable automatic updates for all apps and operating systems that you use. 

Making sure software is up to date will protect you from any vulnerabilities in older versions of software and may even provide you with new features for you to use.  Please see the following information on how to update software on the most popular operating systems:


Android Apps


iOS Apps



Another important point around software is where you get it from in the first place.  It is highly recommended that you only download software from trusted sites and official app stores so you can be sure of its authenticity.  Downloading software from other sources can inadvertently download malicious software which can run in the background without your knowledge and be a major security risk not just to yourself, but others who use the same network that you use.  If a device is no longer supported by the manufacturer, replace it with one that is.

What is firmware?

Firmware is a piece of software that generally comes pre-installed and embedded on devices such as internet routers that enable them to function. It is important that you know how to enable automatic updates on these sorts of devices so that they are protected against the latest threats as well.  Most If there is no option to enable automatic updates, check on the manufacturer’s website to make sure your device is using the latest version and for further support information.    



Cyber Aware - NCSC.GOV.UK

Install the latest software and app updates - NCSC.GOV.UK[DJ2] 

Mobile Device Security Support Hub | NI Cyber Security Centre

Secure Your Home | NI Cyber Security Centre