Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Security: Microsoft Patch Tuesday (November)

It's the second Tuesday of the month, which means that Microsoft just published another round of security fixes for Windows and it's applications. This date is meant to be a predictable date so that companies only have to patch their computers and servers once a month.

Microsoft generally rates the severity (such as: critical, important, etc.) of each of the patches. This month there are five patches that are marked critical, and one patch that is marked important.

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

Warning: Any unsaved work will be lost if your system is rebooted...

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 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: 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 always 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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