Security Patches and OS Updates

Security patches and updates occur frequently. You should have your (Windows) computer set to update automatically, which will take care of critical updates. You should also manually check for, and install OS updates that are not critical on a routine basis.

Windows updates

Automatic Updates

Automatic updates are only for critical updates. They do not include security patches, service patches, drivers, or other updates. It is recommended you set up your computer to do critical updates automatically, even though they are also included in the standard Windows Updates. You must perform all updates to secure your system. To set up automatic critical updates:

  • Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Security Center if using Windows XP
  • Click Start > Control Panel > Security if using Windows Vista or 7
  • Assure that the option for automatic updates is turned on.

Windows Security, Service Patch, Drivers, and Other Updates

In addition to setting your computer to do critical updates automatically, you must also check for and install security and service patch updates. It is recommended that you do this procedure at least weekly.

  • Using the Internet Explorer browser, click Tools > Windows Update
  • In Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Safety > Windows Update
  • Select the Express option. A check will be performed and you will be presented with a listing of updates.
  • Always select and install security and service patch updates. Driver or other updates should be installed if they apply to your particular system and needs.

Macintosh updates

You must be connected to the Internet to perform updates.

  1. Open Software Update by clicking the System Preferences icon in the dock.
  2. Select Software Update.
  3. Click Update Now.
  4. You will now connect to Apple's website and retrieve the latest updates. You will see a list of updates. Check the items you wish to install and click Install.
  5. If asked to accept a software license agreement, read the agreement and click Accept.
  6. Sometimes new components will ask you to restart your computer. If so, you will see a Restart button. Save your work and close any open programs before clicking Restart.
  7. If the Software Update did not find any new components, you will be so informed and you may exit.