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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Take Updates and Patches

Lori Newman, marketing director for Microsoft, says that the time it takes to install security software upgrades and patches is well worth the effort.

Key Question:


Fight viruses by taking updates and patches because new viruses and worms are constantly popping up. All your software providers are plugging up the holes in their code to be sure the hackers and scammers, nasty small-minded people with malicious intent, are looking for ways to violate you. Remember these hackers use computer programs that simply wander the web looking for holes in software programs.

Everybody must be vigilant.

Without charge, Microsoft and other operating system providers are constantly providing patches and service releases to protect you from new threats. Make sure your server and your local units are configured to notify you that updates are available. Put each program on automatic pilot to update during the early morning hours and eliminate those pop-ups when they appear (Also, do not take any update unless you are requesting it on the host site.) Anti-virus software providers are equally adept at identifying and responding to new threats. The charge per computer is quite modest. Here, too, you should install the application so that you are automatically updated or notified that updates are available.

Say "Yes" when you are offered the opportunity to get the latest protection available nut be sure you are doing it on the host site of the software manufacturer.

Think about it

Do you have the most up-to-date versions of your operating system, firewall, and anti-virus software on your servers and your local units?

Clip from: Protect Your Priceless Data - Understand Security

Meet Art Wong of Symantec, data security guru

Silicon Valley, Seattle, San Diego:  One of the biggest problems in small business today is that we under-estimate the value of our data and we have trouble believing anything can happen to those computers - until it does. And, it will. Issues that face each of us range from viruses to automated internet attacks to outright theft and natural disasters. The cost of these issues in lost information and lost time sometimes is the business itself. Most of us know we need to take a few steps to secure our data but simply do not know where to start.  This episode of the show is our 1-2-3. Please, have somebody in your business become an expert. If you are a sole proprietor, you'll just have to do it!

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Joe Galloway,

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Take Updates and Patches

DAVID: We update as much as once a day. There's a situation going here where we're discovering new things all the time. And, where some of these things come from is that a good guy researcher will discover something and publish it and then after a period of time a bad guy takes that and turns it into virus. So when you're operating systems says it needs to be updated and windows tells you to update, do the update.

DAVID: The only reason those viruses got out is because the available update in the world was not being used. People thought, let's wait. I don't need to do it until the virus shows up. Well, when the virus shows up, you're hosed. These things don't take long to spread. The Blaster Worm spread to 350,000 computers in 10 minutes. This is an amazing thing.

HATTIE: OK. So do it.

DAVID: Do it. When you see the update available, do it.

HATTIE: So, David. If I buy a new computer today and new software today, it's already going to improve my situation.

DAVID: Yes. In general. In aggregate, that is true. A new computer will be more secure, the new operating systems are more secure than they have been in the past.

HATTIE: Because, I could take all the new stuff that's out there and add it on, pile it on, my 4 or 5 year old computer or 4 or 5 year old operating system...

DAVID: No, if you use a 4 or 5 year old computer, the first thing you have to do is replace your computer.

HATTIE (Voiceover): I went to Redmond and the campus of Microsoft to meet Lori Newman, Marketing Director for Small Business.

LORI NEWMAN: Technology is evolving and for the small business customer it's evolving without them realizing it.

HATTIE: I am on a deadline, I am working, I get this pop up from Microsoft: "Update now!" Do I have to do it right then?

LORI: Yes, you do. And it's simple. Update your software. It will only take a few minutes.

HATTIE: But I have to power down and I have to save my document.

LORI: No, you don't need to. Take the time to take that update. The next time you power up your PC, it will save the changes.

HATTIE: It automatically does it.

LORI: It does. It's very simple. It only takes a few minutes.

HATTIE: What would you say to a person like me who hasn't upgraded in 3 or 4 years?

LORI: I would say, take the time and make the investment to upgrade. Our technology has advanced so much and from a security perspective as well. Security is Microsoft's #1 priority and we continue to upgrade our software and we work with PC providers to make it simpler and easier for small business customers. It's like airbags. Can you imagine driving your car without airbags? For protection.

HATTIE: So we need to just get the new and go through the pain of the change and we'll be happier on the other side?

LORI: Absolutely. It's for the future of your business.

HATTIE: (In the studio) Lori just said, "Take the updates." And we're warning you now: do not take any patches or updates through email. Updates will never, ever come to you via email. Don't be fooled. We received these two and they look like Microsoft security. They are not. These came through some Zombie as a blended threat. An official update will look like this. This type of pop up will appear. We've got to be learning and on guard.

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