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Management for Home Users
|With easy access
to Broadband and DSL the number of people using the Internet has
skyrocket in recent years. Email, instant messaging and file
sharing with other Internet users has also provided a platform
for faster spreading of viruses, Trojans and Spyware. Being on
the Internet without proper protection is like walking in the
rain with no umbrella - you're gonna get wet no matter how fast
With so many computers installed in home offices it becomes critical that
home users install the latest Microsoft patches when they become
available. Older operating systems like Windows 98, Windows
Millennium, Windows 2000, or Windows XP prior to Service Pack
require the user to initiate the process of checking for
security patches. Windows XP Service Pack 2 has changed this and
the default settings are now notifying the user of available
updates automatically. This has increased the level of security
in some areas, but there is a very large number of users and
computers that do not install security patches or hot fixes
provided by Microsoft.
How should home users actually handle the task of patching their computers?
As businesses home users should do some research about the
patches that are being installed. Just installing them and
walking away will work for a while, but sooner or later home
users will run into an issue that a patch breaks something and
eventually renders the system useless. So, what should home
users do when new Microsoft patches become available? First of
all - patches are usually released the second Tuesday of every
month. Often these events are commented in the news and other
media. Users should also signup for email alerts or MSN
Messenger alerts at Microsoft's security website at
http://www.microsoft.com/security to be aware about updates.
Once patches are available Microsoft recommends installing them immediately.
Depending on the confidence level of the user this should be
done fairly soon after the patch release. If a user has several
systems available it is recommended to test the patches on the
least critical system first before updating all machines. Only
one machine at a time is recommended to keep track of things and
to be able to fix problems. In Windows XP it is also recommended
to create a restore point first so that the system can revert
back to the existing state before patching. Home users should
closely follow the media about virus outbreaks and updates.
Waiting a few days with patching a machine can make sense if
some critical work is done on the computer an important deadline
needs to be kept. Nothing is more annoying than having to fight
computer problems with limited time at hand. Speaking of time -
never install patches without having enough time at hand. Users
should allocate 60 minutes of time just in case. If something
goes wrong time pressure is the last thing you want to face when
troubleshooting a machine that is down.
About the author:
Mr. Christoph Puetz is a successful entrepreneur and also an
international book author. Websites of Christoph Puetz can be
found at Web
Hosting Help and at
Highlands Ranch Colorado.