Microsoft seems to be taking Fat Tuesday to heart: this month’s package of software updates includes a whopping 57 fixes for security flaws across most of its current product line. Microsoft isn’t the only one patching: Adobe also has a handful of security fixes for its products – the most commonly installed are Flash and Acrobat. The security exploits patched are just as potentially dangerous as the vulnerabilities patched in Internet Explorer.
What this means for you:
Ideally, you either have an IT department watching out for you and making sure your software is being updated in a timely fashion, or you have Automatic Updating turned on and will automatically download and apply all critical and important patches released by Microsoft and Adobe. In the case of the former, it may actually be a week or two before the actual patches are applied, as many IT departments routinely test all MS patches before distributing them through the enterprise, mostly to ensure Microsoft doesn’t break something proprietary to your company’s platforms. And in the case of this month’s Patch Tuesday, they will have much more to test and deploy.
If your computer is relying on automatic updates received via the internet, make sure you pay attention to the little message popups in the lower right corner of your screen. Windows Update will let you know when its doing its thing, and will also notify you when it has finished applying the necessary patches. Not sure whether your machine has been patched? For most versions of Windows (XP, Vista, 7) you can click the Start Menu and select “All Programs” and scroll until you find “Windows Update”. Review the information on the screen, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us for a second opinion!