With all the internet scams, software vulnerabilities and security breaches of late, safety in the digital age is a hot topic. But computers are wonderful tools that make many aspects of daily life easy, efficient and fun. So what’s the best way to protect yourself and your computer without investing a lot of time, money and effort? The first rule of thumb is to ensure your operating system (OS) is up-to-date.
As vulnerabilities and security flaws are discovered, software developers create patches to help safeguard your operating system. These patches are released as updates to your existing software and implemented when you download the updates (typically found in Windows Update for PC users). Recently, Microsoft issued instructions on how those using Microsoft operating systems can protect themselves from a recently discovered flaw that affects Internet Explorer. This flaw allows hackers to pass malicious code into a website using an infected file, and then potentially obtain the information on any computer used to access that website. The most recent versions of Windows (8.1) and Internet Explorer (11) have security updates in place to protect your PC from this flaw.
To make sure your computer software and version of Internet Explorer is current, open Windows Update on your operating system using these steps:
Click on the Start Menu.
Click on All Programs.
Click on Windows Update.
If the Windows Update window that opens states “Windows is up to date”, no additional action is required at this time.
If there are updates available, including a newer version of Internet Explorer, they will be listed within the Windows Update window. Microsoft recommends that you review and install all updates available.
Windows 8.1 is the latest version of Windows. However, many older computers are unable to run Windows 8.1 due to insufficient system requirements. To check if your PC meets the Windows 8 system requirements
, download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant available on this Microsoft support page
. If you have additional questions regarding updating your operating system, contact your computer manufacturer.
As a financial institution, United Heritage Credit Union hopes to alert its members of security flaws that potentially compromise personal information and lead to fraud. It is important to take steps to protect yourself and your information.