How to update Windows to protect yourself against security threats

Hackers struck fast and hard yesterday, taking advantage of companies who are slow to update their computers and networks against the latest vulnerabilities. Thousands of computers, in 74 countries around the world, yesterday had ransomware installed completely locking them out of their systems. In order to free their computers, users were asked to pay up to $300 in Bitcoin currency. The ransomeware has brought some hospitals in the UK to a halt, in addition to Spain’s largest telecom, and has even infected some FedEx computers. If some major companies can be targeted, then certainly you can too. You need to protect yourself from ransomware by allowing windows to automatically update your computer when it asks to. For those of you who have automatic updates turned off, I highly suggest you do a manual update now.

Here’s how to update your Windows (prior to Windows 10) computer:

  1. Connect to the Internet, and then start Windows Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Windows Update.
  3. If Microsoft Update is not installed, click Microsoft Update. Otherwise, go to step 7.
  4. On the Try Microsoft Update today Web page, click Start Now, and then click Continue on the Review the license agreement Web page.
  5. In the Security Warning dialog box, click Install to install Microsoft Update.
  6. On the Welcome to Microsoft update Web page, click Check for Updates
  7. On the Keep your computer up to date Web page, click Express to install high priority updates.
  8. On the Review and Install Updates Web page, click Install Updates, and then follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
  9. After you install the high priority updates, you can repeat these steps to install other updates. To do this, click Custom on the Keep your computer up to date Web page. Then, you can select updates from the sections that are listed on the navigation pane.

If you’re running the latest version of Windows, Windows 10, automatic updates are enabled automatically. However, if you have been away from an internet connection for a while and want to get a jump start on updating your computer you can follow these instructions:

Manually check for updates in Windows 10

  1. To check for updates now, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates. If Windows Update says your device is up to date, you have all the updates that are currently available.

Other basics in staying protected against cyber theft

  1. Change your passwords frequently – here are some tips
  2. Backup your important files to iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive
  3. Stay on protected networks

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