Update your Mac: Apple fixes major flaw in OS X Yosemite, but won’t patch Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks.
This is why it’s a good idea to update your operating system to the latest version if it can run it. If your current system can’t run the latest version, then it may be time to buy a new system. If you have an app (program) which you’re not sure is supported by the latest operating system, then check with the company that wrote the program and they should be able to tell you if there is a newer version of that app which runs on the latest operating system.
It’s also a good idea to regularly check for any operating system or app updates. This can be done by regularly going into the Mac App Store and also getting an app like MacUpdate.
If you are running OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) or later you can upgrade to OS X Yosemite for free. Check this page out to see if your computer qualifies. If it does qualify, I strongly urge you to go to the Mac App Store and search for Yosemite. If you have OS X Leopard (10.5) then you will first need to upgrade to OS X Snow Leopard and then upgrade to Yosemite.
Many people just continue to run the operating system the computer came with because that’s what they’re used to and they don’t want to change.
The problem with that logic though is that operating system vendors like Microsoft and Apple stop supporting older versions after a while and so any security bugs which are found don’t get patched (fixed) any more.
If you have a Mac, click on the Apple symbol in the upper left hand corner and then select About This Mac.
If you do upgrade to OS X Yosemite from an old version, I also suggest you make a backup of your system before upgrading. I use Carbon Copy Cloner, which works on OS X 10.8 or later. There is another product called SuperDuper which works on OS X 10.6 or later, but I’ve not used it.
Before you back up your system you will need a portable hard drive for as little as $50 from Best Buy, Amazon, etc. Buy a unit which will be able to connect to your computer. If you have an older computer which only has USB 2.0 ports then don’t purchase a unit that only supports USB 3.0.
Here are the OS X version numbers and what they’re also known as:
If you have Windows, I would suggest upgrading to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, depending on what your hardware supports. Again, I suggest backing up your system before upgrading to a portable hard drive. Unfortunately I don’t have any recommendations as far a good programs to make a bootable (you could start your computer) backup for Windows.
Once you’ve done the upgrade and every thing seems to be running OK and you don’t need to go back to the old system, then you can use that portable hard drive you backed up to, to make regular backups of your system, which is an excellent thing to do anyways.
OS X comes with an app called Time Machine which once set up, sits quietly in the background and makes regular incremental backups of files that change. Check this page to learn more about Time Machine.
You can also use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make full bootable backups of your Mac. Personally, I use both. I have Time Machine always running and then at least once a month, I run a task to clone my Mac.
If you have fast Internet available, then I’d also suggest using an online backup service such as Carbonite (which I use) or BackBlaze.
Backing up your files is another key computing practice since you don’t want an accident or disaster to happen and you’ve lost your precious pictures, music, etc.
I know this article has been very Mac-centric and that is because that is what I regularly use.