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The most important Windows setting you should turn on now

Update Tuesday was yesterday, do you remember if you updated? As you know, I take digital security very seriously, and I'm always here to tell you the latest gaps and chinks in Microsoft's armor.

Your computer might still be vulnerable to the security flaw that security experts believe spies used to attack Iranian computer systems in 2010. That is, if you don’t have automatic updates enabled. You’ll know that you don’t have them enabled if you see pop-up screens reminding you to update your computer.

It only takes a minute or two to update Windows and close the gap in the armor by hand. But if you want to save time and make sure that your computer is always updated, there's a way to enable automatic updates. Turning on automatic updating makes sure that you receive an update the moment it comes out.

On most Windows computers, updates are set to "automatic" by default, but it never hurts to double-check that you have the right settings in place.

In Windows 8, using a mouse, right-click in the lower right corner of the screen and choose Control Panel. If you're using a touch screen, swipe from the right of the screen and tap Settings>>Control Panel.

In Windows 7 and Vista, go to Start>>Control Panel.

In Control Panel, click System and Security and then under Windows Update click "Turn automatic updating on or off." Choose "Install updates automatically" in the drop-down menu.

You can choose when the updates will install. Updating usually restarts the computer, so try to pick a time you won't be using the computer, like during the middle of the day for your home computer or late at night for an office computer.

You will need to have your computer on at that time for the updates to happen. Click here to learn why shutting down your computer when you're not using it isn't a bad thing.

Note: If you have automatic updates turned on, but the updates aren't installed yet, you might see a yellow security icon on the Shut Down button in your Start menu. You can click the button to shut down and install the security updates right away.

When you're in the update settings, you'll also see the option "Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates." This will also install updates that aren't critical, but that Microsoft recommends.

Of course, even with automatic updates turned on, you might not be as secure as you think. When are automatic updates not really automatic? Click here to learn more. 

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