In the age of rapid-fire communications and virtual meetings, we feel extreme annoyance when Windows decides that it needs to restart immediately to process an update, or when MacOS relentlessly pesters us to run a software fix. It’s 10 minutes of time that we just don’t have.

Despite the initial impulse to roll eyes at the restart screen, or to swat away notifications, these inconveniences are ultimately designed to mitigate a larger risk than being late to the virtual ‘all-hands’ meeting.

“My impression is that most people don’t want to think about [cyber] security. It’s more of a burden than anything,” says technical director at the National Security Agency, Josiah Dykstra.

Software updates address recently uncovered weaknesses in computer programs or apps, potentially preventing cyber criminals from stealing data, installing malware or staging a ransomware attack.

While there are occasional supply chain attacks that trick people into running fake and malicious software updates, individuals can always confirm the legitimacy of an update with a software supplier or on the developer’s website.

Due to the nature of software development, there will always be another update. But on the plus side, manufacturers are pretty good about fixing their bugs, and some companies even push out automatic updates, keeping a high volume of people safe.

When that optional update window pops up on the screen, remember that a mildly torturous ten minutes could save you from a majorly torturous ten hours.

Get more info at The New York Times.