Why You Should Use Windows Update

June 2, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows 7 has contributed to an improved public perception of Microsoft, and this is helped by the number of updates and fixes they offer to make sure that the end user stays secure.

Users of rival operating systems might point to Microsoft’s regular updates for the operating system as being a weakness – however given that Windows will run on almost any suitably equipped computer and isn’t locked to a narrow selection of hardware builds, it can only be expected that exploits and flaws might arise. After all, Windows is effectively a universal operating system, designed to run on ATMs and set-top boxes as well as PCs and servers.

The result of this versatility is that updates need to be downloaded from time to time. If you experience any Windows 7 performance or security problems, checking for updates should be your first step to resolving these problems.

Why You Should Use Windows Update

Fixing Security Problems – Checking for Updates

Checking for updates in Windows is a simple case of using the built in Windows Update tool, which you can access via the System Tray or by hitting Start and typing “updates” and selecting Windows Update from the list of results.

By default, Windows Update will automatically download and install any operating system updates, but if this has been disabled you can easily re-enable the updater to run automatically.

With the Windows Update screen open, select Change settings on the left and under Important updates use the drop-down menu to select Install updates automatically. You can also select a time for new updates to be installed. Recommended updates are different from Important updates as they are designed to help you get the most out of Windows 7 rather than provide additional security and stability, and by marking the Give me recommended updates… checkbox you can ensure that these are included in your automatic updates.

With the automatic option you can choose when Windows checks, downloads and installs updates, but if you prefer to stay in control of Windows, you can select the option Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.

Similarly, Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them lets you choose the updates to install, and when to install them.

Finally, you can use the Never check for updates, although this isn’t recommended and will leave your computer open to all manner of vulnerability exploits and stability issues.

Consequences of Missing Updates

You really don’t want to miss a Windows Security Update, any more than you want to miss an update for your internet security suite.

Windows Automatic Updates include fixes for security flaws, many of which are only introduced once the flaw has been unearthed or exploited by malicious coders.

By ignoring or overlooking regular updates (perhaps because you have notifications switched off) you are opening up your PC to potential security problems. More to the point, you’ve paid a considerable price for your operating system. Microsoft’s Automatic Updates are free of charge – they’re yours, so you should be taking advantage of them, and protecting you, your data and the data of anyone else that uses the computer.

© 2008-2012 DeviceMag.com - All rights reserved | Privacy Policy