Yep, it’s time for Microsoft’s official monthly release of updates and patches to protect your computer from malware.
However, there are some updates that may be more important than the Windows update. Adobe also released updates to several products and as these updates are needed to stop some current malware on the internet infecting computers, I’ll be covering those first. But wait! There’s still more to cover this month too!
Let’s look at what Adobe has for us first.
Adobe has updates for Flash, Reader and Acrobat, and Shockwave.
You may have gotten a notice to update Adobe Flash but there was also an emergency update a little over a week ago so I would suggest going to the Adobe.com website and installing it again if you are not sure. Just click on the install Flash button on the Adobe site and it will reinstall Flash if you have it installed already. Once Flash has been updated or installed, do the same for Shockwave right away. The Shockwave update fixes a very large number of exploits.
Remember that you need to do these updates using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Google Chrome has it’s own Flash and PDF reader that is updated automatically, this can cause some issues if you try to update Flash with Chrome since it will think you already have the latest version. After you update, I do suggest you go back and continue to use Chrome instead of IE as your browser as it is the safest browser available.
Here is a video on updating Flash and Shockwave works about the same:
[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL2mmSSfKks” type=”youtube”]How To Install or Update Adobe Flash Player[/mc]
Adobe Reader X is also receiving updates.
My experiences with updating Reader this time are very mixed. I think I was able to do at least one update from the update Reader option in the Reader X help menu. I have not had that work on several systems (I have spent a good part of the day doing updates on many computers). In many cases, I had to go to adobe.com and download the updated Reader X (just like installing it or Flash and Shockwave). I did not have to uninstall first. A simple install worked for the update. The current version you will be updating to is 10.1.0. The previous version is 10.0.1. It can be a bit confusing.
Here is a video on installing Adobe Reader X.
[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9mIyKUlMak” type=”youtube”]How To Update Adobe Reader[/mc]
Now back to Microsoft’s regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday.
This month Microsoft has another large number of updates and patches this month.
On Windows 7 I saw about 11 updates. On XP computers, I have seen 9 to about 13 or so. If you have Microsoft Office installed you’ll see a few more than if you don’t. Many of the updates are listed as critical. At least on has seen some potential for active abuse by malware while the others seem to be a bit difficult to use right now. Probably not as critical yet as the Adobe updates but still needed.
Here’s a video on updating Windows:
[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2coTJHY8O-8″ type=”youtube”]How To Update Windows XP Manually[/mc]
Last but not least:
Java was also updated fairly recently.
On many computers, Java does not check for updates very often and it is possible it could be some time before you get a notice to update it. Worse yet, I have seen a lot of computers with the little orange Java update available icon in the lower right of the screen (in the system tray) being ignored. One computer I saw this on had some malware on it targeting Java exploits (a trojan was one of several). There is a Java icon in the Windows control panel on computers that have Java installed. Java can be updated from there.
Here is the Jave update video:
[mc src=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj_r8oVYen0″ type=”youtube”]How To Update Java[/mc]
For non-Windows computers, the Adobe updates and the Java updates apply to your computer also.
These programs are on nearly all computers and operating systems. They provide the ability to have video and multimedia on websites work on nearly any computer. Without them, the internet as we know it right now would not exist. Without keeping them updated though, you are at a high risk of getting malware infecting your computer. Once that happens, it could be that start of a major inconvenience.
What you need to learn from Sony’s mistakes.
By now, nearly everyone has heard about the Sony Playstation Network getting hacked. Also Sony entertainment was hacked. Sony’s customer’s credit card information was leaked as well as user accounts and info. What I have read, Sony’s servers were not patched and not protected by a firewall. They made it easy for the hackers to steal their customers’ valuable information.
Now, you may not be running a huge network, but you are taking just as much risk if you do not keep your computer updated and protected with a good anti-malware product. You’re not even a hard target. An updated computer does not mean it cannot get malware. It does make it much less likely to get infected and that if infected less damage can be done. No updates will pretty much guarantee eventual infection. Keep your computer safe.
Dive the internet don’t just surf, or worse be a serf.