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A Guide to securing Windows XP


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Automatic Updates on Windows XP

Microsoft provides you with a feature in Windows XP updates to update your system, so you have the latest security patches and therefore any vulnerabilities within your operating system have been fixed. Also the feature allows for newer features, developments, and fixes to the operating system. For example if a new version of Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer is out, the Windows XP updates feature will install these.

It is crucial in ensuring Windows XP updates is always up to date, as Microsoft release security fixes on a constant basis when new vulnerabilities and threats are found.

Select Start, All Programs, and then Control Panel. Now click on the Windows Updates on the left hand side (below Figure). This will take you to Microsoft Windows update site, where you can update your system.

Control panel showing Windows Update Link

You can also access Windows XP updates from the Security Centre within the Control panel. The Security Center is a great feature for managing all your Security in one area.

If you can not see the Security Center, you’re not on the latest service pack. You will need to go to Windows updates, like I showed you earlier, and update your system to the latest service pack. The Security Center will be visible once you have installed Service Pack 3.

Also see my Vista Guide where I cover the Security Center in more depth.


Windows Security Centre Main Screen


You can select the Automatic Updates icon from the security center, and you can now configure when and how to update.

Select Automatic (recommended) and specify a time when you have your computer on. I have mine configured at 4pm, as this is the time my computer is usually on. If your computer is off, then of course it can not check for latest Windows XP updates. So specify a time when your computer is usually on.

Automatic updates.

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