Hear how 15,000 people worldwide cope with the tedium positively and productively instead of avoiding this vital digital habit.

How much time does it take to install important updates regularly on your smartphone and computers? Have you ever postponed the update prompts or even disabled them altogether?

One cybersecurity firm conducted a study in April this year and found that 40% of those they surveyed considered that the time spent on installing security updates could be put to better use.

Considered a boring and routine task, this necessary part of our digital lifestyles not only secures our devices but can also come with other improvements such as additional features, updated user interface elements.

Pain in the neck?

The study involved 15,000 online respondents, including 1,000 respondents from each from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain; and 500 from each of the USA, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, China, India, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Russia.

All respondents used a PC, smartphone and/or tablet for either their personal or work lives, and 76% of the respondents were currently employed. Kaspersky, the firm that commissioned the study, found 40% of respondents saying that the waiting time for installing updates can be used for other purposes even if it affected their productivity. Some 39% even enjoyed the break away from technology.

Other data discerned include:

  • Generally, respondents mostly preferred to shift to other activities while updates were installing. For example, when their devices are unavailable, 31% of respondents tried to switch off and relax (watch TV or read a book). Another 18% distracted themselves by cooking; 9% preferred sports or going for a walk.
  • 23% of respondents continued to do what they were doing, simply switching to another device.
  • Despite the benefits of such pauses, once respondents received update notifications on their devices, 50% usually postponed the installation of updates. The most popular reason was because users were busy at work (30%), followed by options where users did not want to stop using their device in that moment (26%), and a quarter (25%) did not want to close the application.All in all, 63% saw no harm in such delay. 

Commented the firm’s spokesperson, Maria Namestnikova: “It makes complete sense to switch to another device while the gadget you were using originally is going through an update cycle. Playing sports, cooking, or a little meditation could be a timely break from the working day, helping people to relax and reboot. We were pleased to see in our survey that many people already follow healthy practices, and we call on others to follow their example. Doing so will not only help to improve your mood but can also increase productivity.”

‘Care for a little exercise during the software updating process? Well-known blogger, yoga teacher, and personal trainer Shona Vertue has worked with the cybersecurity firm to prepare a 17-minute video course of simple exercises during the wait.