Stop and take action right now if you're one of the billions of people using Microsoft's operating systems, software, web browser or hardware. You won't believe how many security patches the software giant just issued.
All of these patches fix security holes that can harm your computer or give hackers access to it. One of the most serious issues gives hackers remote access to completely take over your computer.
Note: Keep reading for step-by-step instructions to patch these security vulnerabilities. Microsoft recently issued a jaw-dropping 82 security patches.
The most serious of these is known as CVE-2017-8759. It allows a hacker to take over your computer and install spyware.
What you must know: Do not open links or documents in emails unless you are 100 percent sure you know the person who's sending it to you. Be extra careful - Speak with that person by phone or in person to confirm that they sent the link or attachment to you.
This security vulnerability has already been exploited, Microsoft said in its security bulletin. It reads in part:
"An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability in software using the .NET framework could take control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."
Three other serious threats allow users to install malware into PowerShell; the other two affect Microsoft's HoloLens and its web browser, Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft Security Patches
You're in luck if you're using one of the roughly half-billion devices running on Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft's OS and it's regularly updated.
Here's how to make sure you have the latest version of it, including patches for security holes. First, click on the start button. That's the window icon in the lower left side of your screen.
Click on Settings >> Update & Security >> Windows Update. You should see the message: Your device is up to date. If you do not see that, click on Check for Updates.