Smartphone Update AppsCybersecurity

Kaspersky survey finds some users don’t find the value of updating devices

Not every user knows that software updates, more often than not, involve tightening the security of their devices. The latest study by cybersecurity solutions firm Kaspersky reveals that there are respondents who either postpone or neglect the updates with half of them snoozing the notification.

However, there are 40% of the respondents use the time waiting for updates doing something else — something productive.

Kaspersky’s campaign “Pain in the neck” explores users’ attitudes to updating devices. In April 2021, the company commissioned Savanta to conduct an online survey of 15,000 respondents from across the world to explore people’s device update tendencies. All respondents used a PC, smartphone and/or tablet for either their personal or work lives and 76% of the respondents were currently employed.

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According to Kaspersky, updates to devices are not only necessary to gain access to new features or interfaces, but they also help to maintain a high level of security.

“Vendors regularly test their offerings to find new potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers,” Kaspersky said. “The timely installation of updates can serve as an effective defense against cybercriminals. This downtime can also increase people’s productivity and help with well-being.”

Switch off

Generally, users mostly prefer to shift to other activities while updates are being installed. For example, when their devices are unavailable, 31% of respondents try to switch off and relax (watch TV or read a book), 18% distract themselves by cooking, and 9% prefer sports or going for a walk. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) continue to do what they were doing, simply switching to another device.

Despite the benefits of such pauses, once they receive update notifications on their devices, 50% usually postpone the installation of updates. The most popular reason is that users are busy at work (30%), followed by options where users do not want to stop using their device at that moment (26%), and a quarter (25%) do not want to close the application. All in all, 63% see no harm in such delay.

In terms of the campaign “Pain in the Neck,” Kaspersky, in collaboration with the Australian blogger, yoga teacher, and personal trainer Shona Vertue, also prepared a short course of simple exercises that can be completed while waiting for the installation updates to complete. The course itself is very simple and can be performed at home by people of all abilities.