Last October, we shot out a heads-up regarding an out-of-band update from Microsoft. An out-of-band update is one that is released outside of the patch Tuesday update schedule, the well-known pattern Microsoft has established for releasing updates to its products on the second Tuesday of each month.
Today, Microsoft has released another out-of-band update. This update fixes a critical security hole in Internet Explorer that could allow an attacker to compromise a system and gain control over it. Microsoft doesn’t release out-of-band updates often, so when they do you can know that they’re fairly critical.
Read more about today’s critical update from Microsoft’s website.
Just because you’ve switched to Opera or Safari or Chrome or Firefox and don’t use Internet Explorer regularly doesn’t mean you should ignore this update. It’s our belief that IE is so integrated into so many parts of Windows that it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Updates are easy and you should check for them frequently and install them immediately. Here are a few tips.
- If you’re still using XP, go to update.microsoft.com and install all available updates.
- If you’re running Vista, congratulations. Windows Update is a start menu item and can be accessed from there.
- If you’re running IE7, upgrade to IE8 even if you don’t regularly use Internet Explorer.
Microsoft isn’t the only company that releases updates. Last September, we wrote about a great service called Secunia that you can run to tell you what other programs on your computer have updates that are available. It would probably be a good idea to run their free web scan to check if you’re using an outdated version of Flash, Java, iTunes or any other program that has recently patched security holes.