LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clicking the update later button on our devices is a common practice for many phone users but it can be a welcome mat for hackers, according to safety experts.

Lieutenant Allen Larsen with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department tells 8 News Now the task should be done as soon as possible.

“Make sure you go into your applications and you update those as soon as you can,” Lt. Larsen said.

A visitor tries out an Apple iPhone 7 on the first day of sales of the new phone at the Berlin Apple store on September 16, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

In that update is something called a security patch. Its purpose: is to locate and address vulnerabilities.

“Security patches are things that different vendors, specifically those that provide computer applications or other web-based services that they routinely do with programs you have installed on your computer,” added Lt. Larsen.

The problem for many can often be that they don’t take the simple step to keep the security patch in action.

“The biggest thing to keep in mind is making sure you’re running the current version!” he advised.

The reason behind it is that the security patch is baked into the update. If you delay the update, hackers can get an open door.

“Whether that’s ransomware, spyware, malware – basically any type of a virus or something that could hurt your computer or steal your information,” Lt. Larsen said.

It’s especially important for businesses to keep an eye on as well.

“As companies and vendors learn about those they do what’s called patch updates and that’s basically where they’re updating the software, the programming, the back-end,” he added. “What you don’t see to allow so those exploits or vulnerabilities are no longer there.”

If a cybercriminal does hack into a computer, Lt. Larsen has some advice.

“Once the company learns about it, then they patch that, and they basically block it off,” he tells 8 News Now.

Lastly, it’s discouraged to update devices in an untrusted network. Examples include public areas such as coffee shops or the airport.

Business owners are advised to staff up their IT departments as well.