18 WebsiteCompass FAQs Dr. Webbie Answers your frequently asked questions QUESTION: Do I need to install software updates each time I get notified they’re available? ANSWER: The short answer to your question is, “Yes, you do.” It’s vitally important to stay on top of software updates since they provide you with added protection and other benefits. Increased Security Software updates often include software patches, which cover recently discovered security holes or flaws. This is critical since hackers look for security holes and take advantage of them by writing code to target the vulnerability. The code is packaged into malware, which can infect your computer with no action on your part other than viewing a rogue website, opening a compromised message, or playing infected media. The hacker could then steal your personal data or even gain control over your computer and encrypt your files. Because of these potential security threats, it’s in your best interest to promptly update your software when you receive an update notice. Improved User Experience In addition to security fixes, software updates can also include changes to make the user experience better. This may involve: • New or enhanced features • Better compatibility with different devices or applications • Improved software stability • Removal of outdated features For these reasons, you shouldn’t ignore those reminders about software updates, however annoying they may seem at the time. After all, the update process typically doesn’t take long, and it could save you all kinds of headaches down the road. QUESTION: I heard AARP launched a social media platform. What can you tell me about it? ANSWER: AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) funded the creation of Senior Planet Community, a social media platform just for 60+ adults. It was developed by an AARP affiliate, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), which started out giving computer classes in New York City and has expanded its physical footprint over the years. During the pandemic, those classes moved online, and Senior Planet Community grew from that transition. Senior Planet Community has been described as a secure haven for older adults to make their voices heard, engage in thoughtprovoking discussions, and share resources with one another. The social media platform encourages users to join pre-existing groups around shared interests, including Fitness Enthusiasts, Space for Creatives, Gardening Club, Pet Lovers, Fun with Photography, Book Club, and more. You can check out what’s available at seniorplanet.org. The site also includes educational articles, live virtual classes, and tech tips videos. Compared with Facebook, Senior Planet Community is smaller and simpler. It feels more like a pared-down version of Reddit or a small collection of forums. However, all the popular social media features are there, including groups, photo sharing, @-mentions, notifications, and direct messaging. There are no ads or membership fees. Senior Planet Community has a list of “house rules” that urges users to “be courteous” and “cite your sources.” Posts about politics aren’t forbidden, but the rules say posts can’t stray off-topic, and users can’t “attack individuals, social, ethnic, or political groups and figures.”Users can report posts they think violate the rules.