Update your software

One of the easiest ways to compromise a computer’s security is through software vulnerabilities. The software on your computer, phone, laptop, and  other devices needs be updated regularly to address vulnerabilities.

Updating software is an important part of keeping data and devices secure, but there are risks associated with updates. Consult with your IT support person or the vendor for specifics on how to update and patch UW-owned technology. For personal computers and devices, consider the following tips:

  • Keep the operating system on your computers, laptops, and devices updated and set up automatic updates. Check regularly to make sure updates occurred.
  • Enable automatic updates whenever possible on computers, laptops, and smartphones and check manually for updates if they are not available.
  • Back up your data before updating, and schedule regular backups to be ready for automatic updates to occur.
  • Keep applications updated and patched and delete any that you are no longer using.
  • Accept updates to your browsers when you are prompted to do so, and check regularly for updates.
  • Check manufacturer documentation for information on keeping home routers and devices updated.
  • Keep any anti-virus software on computers and mobile devices up to date, and check from time to time to be sure it is running.


Office of Information Security: Update & Patch Risk Advisory