The second Tuesday of the month just passed, which means there are Update Tuesday patches that need to be installed on your computer. Both Microsoft and Adobe rolled out a number of fixes for their respective products, and there are some critical things you need to know.
Microsoft released a dozen updates that fix 71 flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Outlook and other programs. 75% of these are listed as "critical," which means hackers can use them to take over your computer. A staggering 30 flaws are in Internet Explorer and 15 are in Microsoft Edge. So updating those is critical.
There is one caveat. According to Krebs on Security, the SANS Internet Storm Center is tracking a problem with the update for Outlook. On some people's computers, Outlook is glitchy after installing the updates. So if you're an Outlook user, you might hold off on installing that patch.
There's also a change coming up for Internet Explorer users. After the January updates, Microsoft is only going to be supporting the latest versions of Internet Explorer for each computer. So, if you're running a version less than IE 9 for Vista for IE 11 for Windows 7 and 8, you won't be getting any new security fixes. That leaves you open to hackers and other online threats.
Windows 10 will install the new updates automatically. For every other version of Windows, learn how to make sure the latest updates are installed.
In addition to Microsoft's updates, Adobe released a Flash update that fixes a whopping 78 security flaws. While it's good that Adobe is fixing problems regularly, this is another reminder that Flash has a history of serious security problems and you should think twice about letting it run in your browser unrestricted.