Five Minute Security Tip That Will Increase Your Computer’s Safety: Automatic Updates

Solution and mouseAs part of the security practices you should be using on your computer (see Security System below), here’s a security tip that will only take five minutes to set up on your computer and will reduce your exposure to computer security threats. Setup your computer operating system and browser to have automatic updates downloaded. You may ask why updating Windows and Internet Explorer will help protect your computer against malware. The answer is that most of today’s updates address known vulnerabilities in the Microsoft software on your computer. In other words, the vulnerable code is modified so that the potential security “hole” is closed to mitigate the vulnerability; therefore making your computer safe from one less vulnerability and it’s potential attacks.

Here is some help, from Microsoft, on how to set your computer up for automatic updates:

Understanding security and safer computing 2011-07-01 23-44-35

Note that you may want to decide which updates to install rather than installing all of them. If so, do not select Install updates automatically, and you will be given an opportunity to review the updates and select which ones to install and not to install. If you’re not an experienced user, I would follow the instructions and select Install updates automatically.

Enabling automatic updating is part of an overall “security system” of best practices you should have in place. Here is a good example of such best practices, it’s from www.onguardonline.gov .

  1. Protect your personal information. It’s valuable.
  2. Know who you’re dealing with.
  3. Use security software that updates automatically.
  4. Keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date, and learn about their security features.
  5. Keep your passwords safe, secure, and strong.
  6. Back up important files.
  7. Learn what to do in an e-mergency

Here’s a link to a Microsoft security tips page that will help educate you on the security options you have.

Remember, be safe when using the Internet…it’s dangerous out there.

Please comment on this subject; we all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared.

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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,

Paul

paulshomecomputing(at)yahoo.com

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4 Comments

Filed under Internet, security

4 responses to “Five Minute Security Tip That Will Increase Your Computer’s Safety: Automatic Updates

  1. Hi Paul,

    You’ve described a long standing security problem with a default Windows installation, and your solution is spot on. This is a “must do”.

    Windows 7 is a little different, inasmuch as the “real” admin account is actually hidden. Yes, an admin account is shown, but this is actually not the “real” admin account.

    Win 7 users will notice, that despite the fact they are signed in as the admin, there are certain files and folders where access is not permitted.

    To overcome this limitation (not recommended), checkout – http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window-on-windows/access-the-real-administrator-account-in-windows-7/3656

    Despite this extra security step in Win 7, your advice is relevant and should be followed.

    Best,

    Bill

    • Bill,
      Thanks for your comment. I knew as I was writing it that I’d get a comment from some of my tech professional viewers on just your point. However, I decided to not “muddy the waters” for the non-tech folks, which are plentiful among my viewers. But, of course, you’re absolutely right in your comment. I really appreciate your input.
      Best,
      Paul

  2. robert h

    Please give me a tip on exactly how to set up my firefox browser to only function with a newly created standard user account, thanks!

    • Robert,
      Thanks for the comment/question. I don’t know that Firefox has the capability to only function with a certain type of user account. Another way you could accomplish forcing the use of a standard user account rather than the administrator account is to put a password on the administrator account that only you know. Therefore, other users of your computer will have to use the standard user account for browsing or anything else. You can make the password change at the manage accounts screen in Windows 7. Hope this helps.
      Best,
      Paul

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