Install Operating System and Software Updates

Why should you install operating system (OS) and software updates?

  • Updates are "patches" that fix problems in your operating system (the basic program that runs your computer) or in software and programs that you use.
  • Unpatched computers are especially vulnerable to viruses and hackers.

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UCSC's Minimum Network Connectivity Requirements require devices connected to the campus network to run versions of operating system and application software for which security updates are made available. Updates must also be installed in a timely fashion.

To ensure that your OS and software is updated:

Install all critical and security-related updates when your programs tell you they are available. If you've never been prompted to do this, your computer and applications may not be configured to notify you when updates are available. Submit a ticket to the ITS Support Center for assistance to make sure you are able to receive and install updates as appropriate.

Some general guidelines:

  • Windows users: Set your computer to download operating system updates on a regular basis. Look in your Control Panel and find System or Automatic Updates. You can also find Windows updates in the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, or by visiting Microsoft's Web site at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
  • Mac users: Consult the "software update" pane in the System Preferences utility to manually or automatically schedule updates. Or visit http://www.apple.com/support
  • Mobile users: Remember to sync often so you get available updates. Always install updates when your carrier tells you they are available.
  • Everyone: Look in the menu of your applications and web browsers when they are running to see if there is an "update", "auto update" or "check for updates" option, or something similar. If so, select the option and set it to check for updates as frequently as it allows.

Restarting your computer:

Some updates require you to restart your computer for them to go into effect, and you may not be notified when this is the case. Whether your computer is being patched for you* or you do it yourself, shutting down or restarting your computer regularly -- at least weekly -- helps to make sure software and security updates are properly installed and are protecting your computer and information.

* A special note for managed computers: Computers managed withTEM/BigFix receive OS and application patches remotely. For more information see ITS' Managed Computer Support web page.


GETTING HELP:

Contact the ITS Support Center if you would like your computer configured to meet these requirements. If you have questions, contact the Support Center or your ITS Divisional Liaison


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Re. September 2011