Keith Turpin is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Head of Global Infrastructure Services at Universal Weather and Aviation.

“A lot of malware leverages vulnerabilities that are publically known and in most cases have patches available.” Keith Turpin.

It is recommendation that in order to have a safe and secure computing environment always keep your operating system up to date with the latest software patches.  It is also best to keep your various 3rd party applications up to date as well.

It is best to have your operating system automatically install new updates as soon as they are available by enabling auto updates.

The following page provides instructions on how to enable automatic updating for various versions of MS Windows.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/turn-automatic-updating-on-off

Note:  There is a pull down in the upper right side for selecting your OS version.

Checking For and Running Updates:

Sometimes you want to verify you are up to date, especially if you haven’t used your computer in a while. In versions prior to Windows 8, you would access the update screen via the Control Panel. Open the Control Panel and click on the icon for Windows Update. In Windows 8.1, you can still go through Control Panel to get to the Windows Update feature, but the same options are also available via the PC Settings screen. Keep in mind that Windows updates are sometimes sequential, so if you have not updated in a while you may need to run updates, then check and install more update. Rinse and repeat until the check comes back saying you are up to date.

Windows 7.x:

To turn on automatic updates in Windows 7:

Select the “Start” button in the lower left side of your screen.

In the search box, enter Update, and then, in the list of results, select Windows Update.

  1. In the left pane, select Change settings, and then under Important updates, select Install updates automatically (recommended).
  2. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then select OK.

 Windows 8.1:

To turn on automatic updates in Windows 8.1:

  1. Open Windows Update by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you’re using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up), select Settings > Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Windows Update. If you want to check for updates manually, select Check now.
  2. Select Choose how updates get installed, and then under Important updates, select Install updates automatically (recommended).
  3. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box.
  4. Under Microsoft Update, select the Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows check box, and then select Apply.

Windows 10:

Select the “Start” button, then select “Settings” button.

This is the “Settings” window.  Notice the “Update & Security” block in the lower left corner.  The position might vary but the button will look the same.

  1. Push the “Update & Security” button.
  2. Once you push the “Update & Security” button you will see a new screen appear. 
  3. This is where you can setup your “Update” Options or simply push the “Check for updates” button.
  4. Once you press the “Check for updates” button, the screen will change again.  It will show a progress bar tracking the update process as it proceeds on your system.
  5. Once it completes its update the screen will change again displaying a line under, “Update stats” that reads, “Your device is up to date.  Last checked: Today, xx:xx am/pm”

You are done.

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Apple MAC OS X:

In your browser, “Safari”, go to the following link.

MAC OS X: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201541

Scroll down and follow the directions.

There is more information as you scroll further down the screen for other Apple devices.

You are done.

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LINUX operating systems:

Linux: There are many variations of Linux and most support automatic updates for security patches. Below are the three most popular Linux versions and pointers to resources, but depending on your version and release, the process may be different:

Ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AutomaticSecurityUpdates.  Follow these instructions.

 

Debian: https://wiki.debian.org/UnattendedUpgrades, Follow these instructions.

 

Fedora: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/AutoUpdates, Follow these instructions.

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Watch for more articles on securing your computing environment as we continue our series of articles by our Chief Information Security Systems Consultant, Keith Turpin, CISSP.