Tech Tips

Computer Updates – Do We Have To?

In today’s post we are going to show you how to tell if your Windows 10 system is updated, how to update if it’s not, & discuss the important role updates play in your computer security.

Security lock on laptop

Sometimes it feels like security for our electronics is becoming an ever-increasing pain in the rear.

There’s two factor authentication, passwords that require a letter, number, symbol, the sign for Pi, a blood sample from your cat…and updates, after updates, after updates.

Gone are the days where you could open your computer or phone and just, well, use it.

Retro woman talking on rotary phone.
The good ‘ol days.

All of this computer security may make us nuts, but it’s increasing for good reason; it’s an essential part of maintaining the security of your personal or financial information.  

Why? Because hackers are just so darn good at being bad.

And they just…keep…getting…better.

We’ve covered the importance of How to Choose a Strong Password in a previous post, so today we’re going to discuss the key roles that upgrading to the latest version of Windows & regular updates to your computer play in security.

You’re on your own for the cat wrangling.

R.I.P. Windows 7

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft stopped supporting (providing updates) for their Windows 7 operating system. All users were advised to upgrade to Windows 10.

A groan ensued with all the people in the land as they collectively muttered, “ Errrgh. Another upgrade, more updates…grrrr”.

woman faceplanting in frustration in laptop computer
The average computer user in their native habitat.

Why? Because it was for many, a pain the rear.

Do I really need to update my Windows 10 computer?

On the very day Windows 7 support ended, an article was released by PBS that underscored not only the importance of upgrading to the latest version of Windows, but also the importance of updating regularly.

The article was titled, “After NSA finds major security flaw in Windows 10, Microsoft issues free fix”.

And they said,

“Microsoft said an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by spoofing a code-signing certificate so it looked like a file came from a trusted source.

“The user would have no way of knowing the file was malicious, because the digital signature would appear to from a trusted provider,” the company said.

If successfully exploited, an attacker would have been able to conduct “man-in-the-middle attacks” and decrypt confidential information on user connections, the company said.”

That could’ve been very bad!

Fortunately, Microsoft found no evidence that any hackers had yet found, or used this vulnerability, and they patched it.

pencil eraser erasing mistake

So, as long as your system is up to date, you’re safe.

Microsoft knows about vulnerabilities and hacks (often long before we do), and they fix them.

In other words, No support = no fix. No updates = no fix. No fix = happy hackers.

Ok. We acquiesce. We’ll do the updates.

computer and cell phone updating

Actually, we don’t have a choice anymore.

Unlike prior versions, Microsoft has made Windows updates compulsory.

It was nice to feel like you were giving permission there for a second though, didn’t it?

Errgh.

But, Microsoft has implemented automatic updates for two reasons:

  • Updates are important for security.
  • Automatic updates are easier for non-techy users.

Well, since we have to do this, then…

How Do I Set Up Automatic Updates for Windows 10 Computer?

Windows 10 updates are automatic so you don’t have to set anything up to receive the latest.

“Whaaaat?!”, you say.

Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to do a thing.

happy man with laptop computer
Well, that was easy!

Well…maybe one thing.

The updates are automatic, but we can likely all agree that computers don’t always do what they’re supposed to.

Which makes it a good idea to check from time to time to make sure that your computer is up to date.

So then…

How Do I Tell if My Windows 10 Computer is Updated?

Checking to see if your Windows 10 computer is updated (& updating it if it’s not) is pretty easy, and definitely easier than wrangling your cat for a kidney sample.

First, look for the search bar with a magnifying glass in it in the lower left-hand corner of your Windows 10 computer.

Type Settings into that search bar and press Enter on your keyboard.

Finding Settings in Windows 10 DRC Technologies

That will bring you to a screen with a variety of options on it, which looks like this:

Update and security section Windows DRC Technologies

Click on Update & Security.

Don’t worry, it won’t automatically send your computer into an frenzied, updating whirlwind.

It will bring you to a screen showing the status of your updates.

Checking Windows updates DRC Technologies

If you’re up to date, it will say, You’re up to date!

Yeah! You don’t have to do anything else…unless you want to make any changes to the times at which your computer updates. If you do, we’ll show you how in a minute.

If you don’t get the message that “You’re up to date”, simply click on the grey Check for updates button directly below that message.

But computers have a habit of updating right when we really needed to use them the most, so…

How Can I Change the Time My Windows 10 Computer Auto-updates?

Easily.

If you’ve left the Windows Update area, follow the steps outlined in the How To Tell If My Windows 10 Computer is Updated portion of this post above.

Then, click on Change Active Hours.

Changing active hours for Windows updates DRC Technologies

Next, click on Set Active Hours.

Setting active hours for Windows updates DRC Technologies

Then, click on the hour and/or minute and AM/PM. You’ll want to set the hours during which you’re most likely to be using your computer throughout the day.

If you’d prefer to take the hands-free approach, you can let your computer decide the best times to update based on your usage history.

To automatically adjust active hours, simply turn that option on here:

Automatically adjusting active hours Windows updates DRC Technologies

Easy, right?

The Bottom Line

As annoying as they may be, updates to your computer, phone, or any electronic devices are important for the protection of your personal information. And along with cautious clicking, strong passwords, & good antivirus software, they’re an integral part of your electronics’ security.

Make the hacker’s jobs harder. Make sure you’re updated.

Whether you need an upgrade to Windows 10, computer repair, are looking for a new computer, or have any other electronics issues, give us a call! We’re DRC Technologies and we’re here to take the stress out of tech.

-S

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