UK consumers confused by software updates

Update screen

Forty per cent of UK consumers regularly ignore notifications about software updates, while a quarter claim they do not see the benefit in upgrading their systems.

The results were announced as part of International Technology Upgrade Week, which was set up to highlight the importance of regularly updating devices.

The event counts Skype, Symantec and TomTom as sponsors.

More than 350,000 people from the UK were invited to take part in the survey, which was carried out on behalf of the event's organisers by YouGov.

Half of the UK participants said they needed to see an upgrade prompt between two and five times before acting on it, while a quarter claimed they did not know how to check for updates.

The top reasons given by respondents for updating their software include keeping computers safe from hackers and preventing system crashes.

Meanwhile, consumers said they often put off software upgrades because of security fears,and the amount of time they take to do.

Steve Watts, sales director of two-factor authentication vendor SecurEnvoy, said the survey highlights the need to educate users about how their devices actually work.

"As we move to mass market PC ownership, it becomes clear that the traditional and security aware users of a computer are going to give way to someone that does not understand how their PC actually functions [or] how to update it," said Watts.

"We, as an industry, have to develop easy-to-use [systems] that [are as] foolproof as possible," he added.