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Keep Your Windows System Up-to-date

With the increase in viruses and other malicious programs, it is a good practice to keep your system up-to-date in order to avoid being infected by these programs. Windows Update provides a way for keeping your system up-to-date. These updates fix security flaws and software vulnerabilities. These updates coupled with Norton Antivirus will make your system more secure and better able to withstand attacks.

Why should I run Windows Update?

Many have asked this question and some believe that it is Microsoft's way of invading their privacy. But running Windows Update allows your PC to get fixes for the Microsoft software code that virus writers exploit. Some have mentioned that if Microsoft would make secure programs we would not need these updates. However even Unix, Linux and Apple software periodically needs to be updated due to a security flaw. Most software must be periodically patched to be secure.

Who should run Windows Update?

Any Windows system running Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP. Windows Update is available for Windows NT 4.0, but problems have developed when these systems are updated using Windows Update. If you have a Windows NT system, please contact the CIS Helpdesk for assistance on updating these systems.

How do I run Windows Update?

There are three main ways to start Windows Update. They are listed below:

  • From the Start Menu, select Windows Updates.
  • In Internet Explorer, Select Tools from the menu bar, then select Windows Updates.
  • In Internet Explorer only (Will not work in Netscape), type in the address bar.
  • In Windows XP using the default Start menu, select Start, Programs, then select Windows Update.

    Once started, if you see a message asking should you grant access to the certificate from Microsoft, click yes.
    Click on the link that states: Scan For Updates.

    Once finish, click Review and Install Updates.

    Click the Install Now button.
    Click OK to accept the Microsoft License Agreement (if applicable).
    Once the update is downloaded and applied to the system, click OK to restart the system.
    If this is a new system, repeat the above steps until there are no more critical updates and service packs.

How often should I check for Updates?

You should check the Windows Update site at least once a week. Microsoft has provided a means in Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 and Windows XP with Service Pack 1 that can notify you when an update is available, download it and even install it (Note: We do not recommend having this service automatically installing the update on your system.).

Automatic Updates keep your system up-to-date by notifying you when an update is available, downloading it and/or installing it. To enable Automatic Update:

  • In Windows 2000: From the Start Menu, select Settings, then Control Panel. Select Automatic Updates. Check the "Keep my computer up to date..." box and then select the "Download the updates automatically.." option. Click OK.
  • In Windows XP: From the Start Menu, select Settings, then Control Panel. Select System. Click on the Automatic Updates tab. Check the "Keep my computer up to date..." box and then select the "Download the updates automatically.." option. Click OK.

It is recommended that you download the update and have it notify you that it has done this, then you can install at a more suitable time.

By continually keeping your system up to date, always updating your virus definitions and being cautious with email attachments you can keep you system more secure.

If you have any questions, contact the CIS Helpdesk at ext. 2439.