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What is patching?

Updates to computer operating systems and applications are often referred to as patches.  These updates provide security, stability, compatibility, etc. fixes for applications and operating systems.

Why is it important for me to keep my operating system and applications updated? 

New computer and operating systems vulnerabilities are discovered daily. Keeping your software up to date helps to protects the availability of your data and the security of the University network.


What Does It Mean to Patch and Update Your Computer? 

Patches and updates are any new version of software or programs that you run on your computer. These new versions could be anything from an application or browser update to a new version of MacOS or Windows.

Why Is It Important to Keep Your Applications and Programs up to Date? 

Patches and updates can do a variety of things for programs on your computer such as: 

  • Addressing a specific bug or flaw in the program.
  • Improving your computer system’s OS or any applications general stability.
  • Fixing a security vulnerability in your computer. 

Most cyber-attacks take advantage of vulnerabilities in software that has been available for a long time. The longer a version of software is out the more bugs and vulnerabilities are discovered. This is the reason that new versions are released, to patch these holes.

What can you do?

  • Keep your applications up to date. 
  • Make sure you always have the latest version of your OS (you can set your computer to automatically install updates in your settings).
  • Fully shut down and reboot your computer at least one a week. This will ensure all pending updates are applied.

How to update your operating system

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