As usual, this month's Patch Tuesday for Windows has come and gone and another batch of critical patches are available for download.
This time, 11 security patches were rolled out by Microsoft, five of which are critical, ranging from the usual Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office and scripting patches that could allow remote code execution.
The most notable and the most important critical patch is for the Print Spooler Component vulnerability that affects all supported computers running Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista through Windows 10.
Microsoft states that this print spooler vulnerability could allow attackers to execute remote code with man-in-the-middle attacks on a PC or a print server, or by setting up a fake print server on a network.
The exploit is possible because the Windows Print Spooler service does not properly validate printer drivers when installing from a server.
This means if attackers successfully replace a printer driver on the print server with a modified one, they could infect any machine that connects to the printer. They could then control whole systems and install applications, deploy malware, modify data and create new accounts with full administration rights.
With the latest security patches for July, according to Microsoft, they addressed this vulnerability by correcting how the Windows Print Spooler Service writes to the file system and by issuing warnings when someone attempts to install unfamiliar print drivers.
So make sure you install these critical patches as soon as possible to avoid getting compromised. Since these flaws are exposed, hackers may try and exploit unsecured systems.
(To read more about this month's Patch Tuesday security patches check out Microsoft's Security Bulletin Summary for July.)
If you are not certain if your Windows machine is getting the necessary updates, don't worry, we have you covered.
Most Windows machines are set to download and install updates automatically by default. If you haven't changed your automatic update settings then you should be fine.
But if you want to check, here's how.
On Windows 10, click Start (Windows logo), choose "Settings", select "Update & Security", then on the "Windows Update" section , click on "Advanced Options". (Note: the "Windows Update" section is also handy for showing you updates that are currently being downloaded or applied.) Under "Advanced Options", just make sure the drop down box is set to "Automatic".
If you have an older Vista or Windows 7 system, check out our tips on how to set up and check Windows Updates.