I often become annoyed by the constant “update” reminders my Windows based desktops and notebooks throw my way. The truth is, regular critical updates are a necessity if you want your computer to avoid viruses and to function with today’s top technologies. Whether you need to update your virus programs definition files or allow your computer to reset for Windows updates you should make sure that the following critical updates are always completed in a timely manner.

Windows Updates Needed

Computer Virus Definition Updates

Many users fail to realize that anti-virus programs are ever changing pieces of software. Anti-virus programs rely on files known as “virus definitions” which update those programs with instructions for locating and removing new virus types.

Updating your virus scan programs definition files ensures that the program can spot viruses and keep your computer safe. Not updating these files can lead to a false sense of security.

Users should also update their actual virus scan program when possible to ensure that the newest virus hunting capabilities are enacted.

Windows System Updates

Microsoft regularly releases system updates meant to better its operating system. In some cases the updates will fix small issues such as font handling, application launch speeds, etc. In other cases an update will fix exploits in Microsoft certificate handling, hardware compatibility issues, etc.

Need proof that this is important? When the Flame virus was discovered Microsoft issued an update that would make it impossible for Flame to use fake Microsoft Certificates to further access Microsoft systems.

Some Microsoft updates are simple but others will ensure a faster running system that is more secure and capable of handling new technologies as they arrive.

Internet Browser Updates

Update your browser immediately when asked to do so. When Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and other browsers offer an update it could be to offer new browser capabilities or it could be a patch to fix security issues.

Whatever the reason for the critical update users will want to use the newest browser version. Browser updates often bring with them faster page render times, tighter security and other features that are useful for users.

Since your browser is the “first point of contact” for many viruses this is an important critical update process for all users.

Java Script Critical Updates

Treat every single Java Script update as immediately critical. Java script code injects have become a popular way for hackers to access desktops and notebooks. After gaining access to your systems security flawed java script code hackers subvert your anti-virus program and other security measures in order to hack your system.

According to Oracle:

“A Critical Patch Update is a collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities. The Critical Patch Update for Java SE also includes non-security fixes. Critical Patch Updates are cumulative and each advisory describes only the security fixes added since the previous Critical Patch Update. Thus, prior Critical Patch Update Advisories should be reviewed for information regarding earlier accumulated security fixes.”

As you can see java patches are absolutely necessary for protecting and securing your computer.

If a notice alerts you to “system” or “critical” updates my advice is to follow those suggestions as soon as possible, it could be the difference between protecting your privacy or opening yourself up to personal and professional disaster.

 

[Image via Spartan PC]