Operating System Updates

In computing, a patch or an update is a small piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data. This includes fixing bugs, replacing programs with newer versions and generally improving the security, usability or performance of your computer.

Today, patch installation generally occurs automatically. Most programs, including Operating Systems such as Micrsoft Windows and Linux can update themselves via the Internet with very little or no intervention on the part of users.

Security patches are the primary method of fixing security vulnerabilities in software. Currently Microsoft releases their security patches once a month, and other operating systems and software projects have security teams dedicated to releasing the most reliable software patches on a very regular basis.

Patch Tuesday is usually the second Tuesday of each month, on which Microsoft releases security patches.

It is critical that you ensure your computer is setup to receive and install these updates and patches automatically.

How does they work?

A patch or an update is a program that makes changes to software installed on a computer. Software companies issue patches to fix bugs in their programs, to address security problems, to add functionality or improve performance.

Microsoft periodically releases security patches for its Windows Operating System, as do all of the other vendors on the market.

What to do?

It is critical that you ensure your computer is setup to receive and install these updates and patches automatically.
In WindowsIf you can turn on Automatic Updates using your settings in Control Panel. Windows will automatically find and install high-priority updates for any Microsoft products that you have installed.

With other applications, such as media players, games and other software programs, you need to ensure that you are running the latest versions, and if possible configure the programs to download and install the latest updates from the manufacturers website.

Top Tips

You need to be sure you download and install the patches! If you are running Microsoft Windows, ensure that the patches and updates are downloaded and installed autmatically.

Check your software vendors’ Web sites regularly for new security patches.

Ensure that you are getting patches from the correct patch update site. Many systems have been compromised in the pastthe past by installing patches obtained from bogus update sites or emails that appear to be from a vendor that provides links to those bogus sites.