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How to keep your Windows PC and apps up to date

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After the recent cyberattacks on the NHS, the importance of keeping PCs up to date has become clearer than ever. The attacks appear to have been the result of trusts continuing to use the outdated Windows XP, an operating system which is no longer supported by Microsoft. Windows systems and apps must be regularly updated to ensure protection against security threats. In this guide, experts at Syntax - IT Support London explain how to keep your PC and apps updated.

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Windows

In Windows 10, the most recent Windows operating system, security updates are downloaded and installed automatically. This is good news, as many people haven’t focused enough on keeping their PCs secure through these updates in the past. You still have some control over the installation of non-security updates, but these are usually beneficial to users too. It is not difficult to control updates on your PC, so don’t fear. Here we’ll explain how to do so on Windows 8 and 10.

It is important to always stay up to date with the latest bug fixes and security patches. Automatic updates in both Windows 8 and 10 make this easy and it is also simple to monitor past updates, configure settings and check for any you might have missed. To access Windows Update, simply hit start and type “windows update” and click the result titled “Windows Update Settings”.

Click on the “Check for updates” button to search for anything new. If any updates are found, you can install them immediately before they are automatically downloaded later. By clicking on “Update history” you can view details of past updates. From this page you can also recover from a bad update by resetting your PC or uninstalling a specific update. You should only uninstall an update if you are sure it is causing the problem and you should back up your computer before you uninstall just in case it has a negative impact.

Go back to the main page if you want to change settings such as “active hours”, which lets you choose when Windows can restart your computer. “Advanced options” allows you to see further settings and this is where you can choose for Windows to automatically update other products such as Microsoft Office.

Third-Party Apps

While it is vital to keep Windows updated for security purposes, this is not all you should be doing. Third-party apps must also be kept up to date to fix any security flaws and keep your PC secure. Some apps come with their own tools to notify you when new updates are available, so you can download and install them yourself. Others make staying up to date more difficult and don’t notify you at all when new patches are available. To prevent you from having to manually check for updates for every third-party app on your computer, you can install a free utility to do it for you. These will let you know when any updates are available and will either download and install them automatically, or provide a direct link for you to do so yourself. One app you should be checking manually every so often is your anti-virus software. Checking on this to make sure you’re using the most recent version ensures the safety of your PC against malicious threats.

There is no excuse to not keep your PC and apps updated, particularly when you can utilise a range of automated tools to do the work for you. Monitoring your updates from time to time, for both Windows and third-party apps, provides peace of mind and lets you know that your PC is secure.

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