Updating devices and software is an essential step towards securing yourself from malicious activity. These updates often address security flaws as well as stability and usability issues, maintaining updates is a good idea in general.
Scheduling Automatic Updates through the built-in Microsoft Update app will help keep you on top of Microsoft's latest patches for the Microsoft suite of products - including Office and various developer tools. This can be scheduled to run on a specific interval, which can be selected for whatever time is convenient for you. We suggest updating at least every month.
- Configuring Automatic Updates
- Updates FAQs
For University owned computers - your local IT department may already be managing this for you.
Application and Plugin Updates
Application and plugin updates are often forgotten about or ignored - leaving many computers vulnerable to a multitude of attacks.
Ninite offers a tool for updating various Windows plugins and applications, such as: Java, QuickTime, Chrome, FireFox, Adobe Reader, and many more. This tool is free to use for home users. Simply visit their site and choose the programs you have (or want to install) from their selection guide and download the executable. This executable can be easily configured as a scheduled task in the built-in Task Scheduler application, updating monthly is suggested:
Update Adobe Flash Player - Ninite does not cover this application. Please follow the link below to keep Adobe Flash Player updated:
Note: If you use Google Chrome as your only browser you may not need to have Adobe Flash Player installed - Google Chrome maintains and updates its own instance of this plugin. In this case, you can uninstall Adobe Flash Player without seeing an impact.
Automatic App Updates
You can configure applications purchased from the Windows Store to update automatically (Windows 8 - Windows10), here's how:
Update OS X
Periodically Apple will release new build's of OS X to address issues, security flaws, or to add features. Keeping your operating system at the latest build will help protect you from exploits. The following article explains how to keep your Mac updated:
In addition to updating to the latest build of OS X - you should also consider keeping current with the latest version.
Update Applications and Plugins
The same method used to update OS X to the latest build can be used to update various applications and plugins on your Mac - the App Store. This article (also linked above) also has instructions for configuring automatic updating and installation:
Some applications may not be able to update using the App Store. In this case, you may want to consult with the vendor for instructions on updating.
Depending on your carrier or your manufacturer, you may see a notification on your Android device to update it's operating system. It is highly recommended that you do so whenever available. In the absence of a notification, you can prompt your device to check for updates manually - this article explains how:
Update Vendor Software
Most Android phones come with custom software delivered by the phone's carrier, manufacturer, or both. Be sure to maintain updates on these integration features as well - you can consult with your carrier or manufacturer's site for more details.
Updating your applications will help you keep on top of the latest fixes:
Updating iOS is a simple process that will help keep you protected from malicious activity - if your device is too old to run the latest iOS it may be time to consider an getting a replacement. Please follow this guide on checking for and installing the latest version of iOS:
The App Store can be used to update your iOS device's applications - follow this article to configure automatic updating: