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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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According to a recently published research paper (linked here) it has been found that the most common security practice held by security experts was installing software updates

A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data in order to fix or improve it. By not applying a patch to your software, you might be leaving the door open for malware to come in.

Why do I need to install updates?

Updates are critical to all internet connected computers and devices. All software, including Operating Systems, games, web browsers, and document processors were designed, build, and implemented by people, and as such include errors and flaws in their programming. Malicious individuals take advantage of these flaws to attack individuals computers.

Patching, or in other words, installing updates is the only way to fix these gaps and flaws in your software.

What you need to do

  • Apply updates regularly to your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) and web browsers
  • Use Anti-virus software and make sure the software is kept up-to-date on a regular schedule.
  • Enable automatic updating whenever possible.

How do I install updates

  • Windows 7
    1. Open your Start Menu.
    2. Press the button labeled Control Panel.
    3. Press the button labeled Windows Update.
    4. Press the link on the left hand column labeled Check for Updates.
    5. Windows will now check for updates. If it finds any available updates, press the button labeled Install Updates.
  • Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10
    1. Press the Windows Button.
    2. Press the Magnifying Glass in the top right hand corner of the start screen.
    3. Type PC Settings into the text box that appears and then press enter.
    4. Press the button labeled Update and recovery located on the bottom of the column on the left hand side of the screen.
    5. Press the button labeled Check now.
    6. Press the link labeled View details.
    7. Press the button labeled Install.
  • Mac OS X 10.7+
    1. Open the App Store.
    2. Press the icon labeled Updates in the top right hand corner.
    3. Press the button labeled UPDATE ALL in the top right hand corner.
    4. Read any license agreement presented and press Agree if you agree to their terms.
    5. If a prompt appears in the top right hand corner of the screen asking to restart, press the button labeled Restart.