Instead of letting apps check for their own updates, I recommend (on the advice of PC World) to download a free program called Secunia PSI. It inspects your system for outdated software and helps you to upgrade it. Don't let it run all the time; pick a day of the week (i.e. Patch Tuesday) to run it and see if your system has outdated software. It's a manual process but it's well worth it. Not only do you keep your system up-to-date but you save resources by not having those update checkers running all the time.