Keep Your PC Up to Date

Microsoft recently announced a fix for a security flaw in its Internet Explorer browser. The vulnerability, labeled by Microsoft as CVE-2014-1776, allowed malicious hackers to get around security protections in the Windows operating system.

Microsoft took the unusual step of releasing the patch as a critical update instead of waiting until the second Tuesday of the month, when it usually releases security patches. It also provided a fix for Windows XP, an outdated operating system that Microsoft had said it wouldn’t support anymore.

What should I do?

If you use automatic updates, you don’t have to do anything. Your PC will automatically apply the update. If you don’t have automatic updates, you will need to apply the fix manually. This video shows you how:

Because the hack used a corrupted Adobe Flash file to attack the victim’s computer, you can further protect yourself by updating to the latest version,, here:

You may want to download an additional browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. That way you’ll have a backup in case a flaw is exposed in your main browser.

For Windows XP users

If your computer still runs Windows XP, upgrade to a newer operating system as soon as possible. Microsoft stopped supporting XP in April (with the exception of fixing this security flaw). As time goes on, the older operating system will become more susceptible to viruses and hackers because Microsoft won’t provide security updates. You can read more about upgrading from Windows XP here:

On an ongoing basis

Software companies provide security updates on a regular basis.  As soon as they fix one problem, it seems like hackers find a way to exploit another vulnerability. In addition to installing security patches as they are released, here are four tips to help prevent hackers from accessing your computer:

  • Make sure your network security systems are in place. Businesses need a way to centralize security for all computers that have access to your network.
  • Run current anti-virus and anti-spyware software often. Hackers are able to gain access to your information by a wide variety of viruses. Keeping your anti-virus software updated can help avoid hacking attempts.
  • Install and update your firewall. Firewalls block unwanted connections to your computer from external sources.

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