Microsoft released security updates on Tuesday night, following its normal monthly schedule. Your computer should have restarted during the night.

We’re all overwhelmed by updates but we’re stuck with them. The holes fixed today are the ones that the bad guys will be hammering on tomorrow. You should be installing the updates for Windows and other Microsoft products when they’re released. Some of them will not be installed automatically – it’s up to you to take care of the ones that require extra clicks!

Take a minute to check your settings!

(1) If you’re running Windows Live OneCare, the icon should be green. If it’s not, it may be waiting for you to install updates manually. Open OneCare and follow the instructions and keep the icon green!

If OneCare is green, you’re covered for everything else I mention here. Go be productive.

windowsupdate2(2) If you have a little gold shield (Windows XP) or update icon (Vista) by the clock, it’s waiting for you to download and/or install updates.

  • The Vista update icon is supposed to look like the figure at the left. I wondered about that! I couldn’t have told you that by looking at the little blob down by the clock.

(3) Click on Control Panel / Automatic Updates (Windows XP) or Control Panel / System and Maintenance / Windows Update (Vista), and make sure your computer is set to automatically install new updates.

(4) Visit the Microsoft Update web site (Windows XP) or Control Panel / System and Maintenance / Windows Update (Vista), and make sure your computer automatically installs updates for Windows and other Microsoft products. The updates for Microsoft Office are just as important as the ones for Windows.

windowsupdate

Updates for other programs can also be important but keeping up with the security fixes for Windows is a fundamental requirement of using a computer today. Be safe out there!