Jan
10

The Importance of Being Updated

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Software technologies are moving fast these days.  Especially internet softwares. Browsers are updated regularly, as is any software that gets a ton of usage.  Wordpress is one of those softwares.

Security

Microsoft has always had software that updates frequently.  People find bugs or vulnerabilities and the software people jump into action to plug the hole.  Wordpress is no different. It has it’s own bugs and vulnerabilities and it gets “plugged” pretty quick.  This is important.  Wordpress is a software that by default includes version information in output code.  Code that is visible to anyone.  This can be changed but by default it’s out there.  For hackers, this version information is almost like putting a sign on your front door that says, “The key is under the mat, and I’m not home.”

This is why it’s important to stay on top of those updates to the operating system, browsers, and WordPress.  You want to limit the opportunity for the villains to get to you.

Fixing Flaws

You also want to update to “fix” any of the broken pieces of the software.  One of the biggest issues we and our students have had lately is a “feature” of WordPress can “break” videos or iframe embedded content. We had the problem locally and then began to notice that students were having the exact same problem.  This was corrected in a future update.

New Features

A third reason to be consistently updating, is that certain versions will bring new or revised features.  For example, when the iPhone was released it didn’t have the App Store.  The only apps on the iPhone were the ones that SHIPPED from Apple.  There were no Angry Birds.  The iPhone was a fancy iPod, video player, email and web browsing device.  It was announced January 2007, and there was no App Store until mid-2008.  Through software upgrades, the original iPhone has become closer to what the later generations iPhones could do, limited only by the hardware.  While the original iPhone is not on par with later iPhones, software upgrades allowed it to do a lot more things than it could do at launch.

The point here is that if you can upgrade you probably should.  Some software technologies or features may be phased out, but will probably be making the way for something more secure that works better, with additional features.

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