Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Security: Another Microsoft Patch Tuesday

We just had another Patch Tuesday, which means that Microsoft just published another round of security fixes for Windows and its applications. This date is meant to be a predictable date (the second Tuesday of the month) so that companies only have to patch their computers once a month. If you have never been apart of a corporate IT security update before this regular patch cycle, when a new critical update was released then all the fun would begin (think chickens with their heads cut off).

For the average user, if you have Automatic Updates enabled your computer will download these updates automatically for you in the background. Then when you shutdown these patches will be installed, or if you leave your computer on overnight it will automatically be installed and your system rebooted. Then any unsaved work will be lost...

To keep your computer updated, if you don't have 'Automatic Updates' turned on I would recommend that you enable it as soon as possible. Also if you have enabled this feature, and you leave your computer on overnight I would save all your work before you leave it for the day.

To enable automatic updates:
  • From the Start menu, select the Control Panel folder.
  • Double-click the System applet in the control panel folder.
  • Click the 'Automatic Updates' tab.
  • Check the 'Automatic (recommended)' option. (optional: also from your if you don't like this feature, you can set it to download but not install the update, just notify you, or disable this feature altogether [not recommended])
  • Press the OK button when done.
If you don't want to enable Automatic Updates, you can update your computer by visiting the Windows Update site and downloading and installing the patches manually.

Note: For the latest Microsoft Security Bulletins, check out this site.

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