People are constantly finding security holes (i.e. vulnerabilities) in computer software which could be used to infect your computer with a virus, spyware or worse. When vulnerabilities are discovered, the software vendor typically issues a fix (i.e. patch) to correct the problem. This fix should be applied as soon as possible because the average time for someone to try to exploit this security hole can be as little as a few days.
- Newer software and operating systems can be set to automatically apply updates. If your software supports this, set up the automatic updates.
- For older software, the software vendor typically makes the patches available on their web site. Check the web site at least once a month for updates and follow the instructions to apply them. If the vendor provides email notification, subscribe to the notifications and follow the instructions in the email to apply the patch as soon as possible.
- Many organizations may already have a process for automatically applying patches so check with your help desk before applying patches on your work computer.