I suggest that it be handled the same way an overdue database update is handled - through the icon and the dashboard. And as I'm on the mailing list, a mail advice would not hurt. And it is not "any program" - it is a professional anti-malware program with blogs that keep telling us that we cannot be too careful.
You scared me today. Suddenly a popup wanted me to update Malwarebytes. With all the fake updates and other malware going around I don't think this was wise. I hit cancel, went to the site, confirmed that there actually is a new release, went to the dashboard and updated from there. This is still not 100% perfect, but is much better that just accepting a popup. Please reconsider your ways.