Software Updates

  • Keeping your computer, including the operating system, and any third party software installed is extremely important. This process is known as patching or installing software updates.
  • Software is constantly evolving to make it better and more resilient to the vulnerabilities and exploits from attacks.
  • Failing to regularly patch and update software can leave computers vulnerable which may lead to a compromise in personal information, or your computer could be used to launch an attack on other University systems.
  • In addition to security fixes, software updates may also provide fixes to performance issues or provide new features and functionality. You should endeavor to keep all software current to mitigate security risks.
  • Software updates may happen differently depending on your platform type.

Micro Focus OES Managed Computers

  • If you use a Windows Micro Focus OES managed computer, operating system patches will be installed automatically. You may be required to restart your computer after patches are applied. Additionally, Office 2007, Adobe Flash & Reader, Firefox, Java, Sophos, and Zenworks patches will be applied automatically.
  • Your system will be checked for certain software packages and versions. If any of the automatic patches have failed or have not been applied, you will receive a notification of the software packages which have become outdated. The notification will instruct you to contact the IT Support Centre to arrange to have the software updated.

Non-managed and Personal Computers

  • Computers which are not Micro Focus OES managed or are personally owned should also be updated regularly.

To configure automatic updating for platform, please reference the following steps.

Mac Operating System

To update the applications and operating system on a Mac computer, see How to get software updates for your Mac from Apple. 

It is recommended to enable automate updates. Under "Apple Menu", click "System Preferences". Go to the App Store Panel and check all options, including:

  • Automatically check for updates.
  • Download newly available updates in the background.
  • Install app updates.
  • Install OS X updates.
  • Install system data files and security updates.

Windows Operating System

Windows Update is the best way to keep Windows updated with the latest security fixes, feature improvements, and other patches.

  • To ensure you are receiving updates from Windows Update, it is recommended, you turn automatic updates on within your operating system.

Windows 10

If you have Windows 10, you will receive Microsoft patches automatically. 

Windows 8 and Windows RT

Note: Support for Windows 8 ended January 12, 2016, and support for Windows 8.1 ended January 10, 2023.

  1. Click "Settings", then "Change PC settings", and then click on "Update and recovery".
  2. Select "Choose how updates get installed".
  3. Under "Important updates", choose "Install Updates Automatically" (recommended).
  4. Under "Recommended updates", select the "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" check box, and then click "Apply".

Windows 7

Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 operating systems, as of January 14, 2020.

Individuals and units are advised to consider replacing or upgrading any systems still running Windows 7 as soon as possible. Microsoft will no longer provide security fixes or updates to Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020. This greatly increases the likelihood that such systems can be compromised as your computer will be at a greater risk for viruses and malware, and also can lead to the loss of data.

Since Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows 7, Information Services will consider Windows 7 as unsupported software as of January 14, 2020.

It is important to note that systems you may have at home that are running Windows 7 will also not be supported or updated by Microsoft and may pose a security risk even with additional antivirus software.

For further information:

Third Party Software

  • Windows Updates typically only cover Microsoft products. You should also consider updating third party software, which includes any applications installed on top of the operating system.
  • Adobe products, browsers such as Firefox or Chrome, and most other applications will require software updates. Often, the software can be configured to automatically update or prompt for updates. It is recommended to enable automatic updates for any software on your computer that supports it.
  • Alternatively, you can visit the software vendor’s website to see if a more current version is available.
  • If you have many software installations on your computer, checking for updates for each may be time consuming. There is a tool to automate this process called Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI).  Secunia PSI is a utility which helps keep your software up-to-date. It does so by scanning your PC, providing information about out-of-date programs on your computer, and streamlines the installation of software updates. PSI is limited to Windows platforms, and is intended to be used with personal computers or computers which are not centrally managed.