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Identity Theft and Windows Updates

May 14, 2008

Identity theft and Windows updates.. Say what?

No, I’m not trying to say Microsoft is going to steal your identity if you don’t install their Windows updates. But a hacker will.

Whenever a security flaw is found in Windows, their engineers work on a ‘patch’ for it so that hackers can’t get into your computer and install nasty little programs that steal your information. Hackers and spammers have automatic robots (‘bots’) continously crawling the internet looking for computers that have a weakness in them. These bots run 24/7.

Why should you install the update immediately?

Once a security flaw is found and an update issued, the flaw then becomes public knowledge. The bad guys know exactly where to find an opened, unlocked backdoor into your computer. So they ‘tell’ their little bots what to look for.

Even more dangerous to your security than not installing all updates right away is to never install them at all.

Some people think that because they rarely go on the internet that they’re safe from viruses, worms, trojans and all the other little nasties. In reality, they’re making themselves into easy targets. Everytime they go online, their computers become sitting ducks for every single bot out there – including all the old, outdated ones.

 How to Get Automatic Updates Automatically

You can set your computer to get all new updates as they’re released. Here’s how:

  • Click on the "Start" button.
  • Choose "Control Panel".
  • Find the icon for "Security Center".
  • Choose "Turn on Automatic Updates".

You can also go to  Microsoft’s update site – http://www.update.microsoft.com – and find out how to update your computer straight from the horse’s mouth.

Don’t put off updating Windows on all your computers (unless you have a Mac). What you don’t know can hurt you on the internet. Keep your identity safe!

Related Articles:

Reverse-Engineering Exploits from Patches
FAQ:What you should know before installing Windows XP SP3
Microsoft starts Vista SP1 auto delivery

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