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Security Tips

Keeping Windows Operating Systems Up to Date

Windows computer users can now receive updates automatically for their Windows operating system, their Microsoft Office suite, and other Microsoft programs using the Microsoft Update process. It works with your Windows Automatic Updates setting (see below) to keep your computer software up to date without a need to manually check for updates.

Follow these instructions to keep Windows computers up to date using the Windows Automatic Updates feature.

Backups, Training, Questions and Problems

It is always wise to back up computer systems on a regular basis and prior to making significant modifications to them.

Review the Information Technology training information for security-related classes.

Setting Up Windows Automatic Updates Feature

  1. To access Windows "Automatic Updates" settings:

    For Windows XP: right-click My Computer, select Properties and click the "Automatic Updates" tab. (Some people might have to select "View System Information" from My Computer to find "Automatic Updates".)

    For Windows 2000: launch the Automatic Update component located in Settings | Control Panel.

    Here is what the window looks like on Windows XP:

    Auto Update

  2. The "Keep my computer up to date..." option should always be checked.
  3. Select the third option, "Automatically download the updates, and install them on the schedule that I specify". The settings should be "Every day" and a time when your computer is normally turned on and connected to the internet or to the Pepperdine network.

How Does Windows Automatic Updates Work?

  1. Microsoft releases one or more updates.
  2. Your computer automatically finds available updates and downloads them onto your computer (when you have previously chosen the Settings option specified above). Note that because of the vast number of Windows computers in the world, it may take a day or two after Microsoft makes a patch available before your computer notices the patch.
  3. The updates are now ready for installation:
    The update will automatically be installed according to your scheduled installation time. If an update downloads later than the scheduled installation time, the update will install on the next available day while the computer is turned on and connected to the internet or Pepperdine network during the scheduled installation time. You can continue using your computer during installation of updates, but it is better if you do not.
  4. Certain updates may require that your computer be restarted to complete the installation, and should notify you about re-starting your computer. Save and close any open documents, then proceed with the option to re-start your computer.
  5. It is imperative that you use the instructions above to set up your computer to automatically look for Windows critical updates; however, from time to time you may also manually check for Windows updates by going directly to the Microsoft Windows Update web site.