Keeping your computer up to date

It's important to keep your computer software up to date to minimise the risk of a malware infection or security breach.

Software updates often include security patches, bug fixes and new features.

Machines found to be infected with a virus (or other malware) will be disconnected from the University network without notice.

The following instructions apply to unmanaged devices and personally owned devices only. Managed machines will either be updated by IT Services or your department.

Operating system

Operating system updates are released frequently to patch security flaws and fix bugs.

You should make sure that these updates are set to automatically install on Windows, OS X and Linux devices:

iOS and Android devices won't install operating system updates automatically, but they will notify you when a new update becomes available:

  • iOS devices
  • Android devices
    • Please note: These instructions refer to Nexus devices. Other Android devices may be similar but not identical. You should contact IT Support if you're unsure.

Applications

Web browsers

Internet Explorer

Updates to Internet Explorer are included with updates to Windows. You should make sure that you have turned on automatic updating.

Firefox

By default Firefox is configured to automatically update. You can make sure that automatic updates are enabled for Firefox by going into the Update tab in the Advanced settings menu.

Chrome

By default Chrome is configured to automatically update. For further information, see Google’s guidance on how to update Google Chrome.

Safari

Updates to Safari are included within updates to OS X. For further information see Apple's guidance on how to get the latest version of Safari for your Mac.

Adobe Flash Player

You can verify that you are running the latest version by visiting the Adobe Flash Player webpage.

Adobe provide instructions on how you can configure Flash to check for updates automatically.

Adobe Acrobat/Reader

Adobe provide instructions on how to install updates for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat.

It is common for malware to infect a computer by taking advantage of security flaws in plugins. Further advice on protecting your device from this is available:

Java

You can verify that you are using the latest version of Java using their Verify Java Version tool.

You can configure Java to check for updates automatically by going to the Control Panel (or System Preferences for Mac users) and then Java. Choose the Update tab and tick Check for Updates Automatically.

It is common for malware to infect a computer by taking advantage of security flaws in plugins. Further advice on protecting your device from this is available:

Microsoft Office

Windows

  1. Open any Microsoft Office application
  2. Go to the File tab and then Help
  3. Choose Check for Updates
  4. A window will appear with instructions on how to apply any available updates

Mac OS X

  1. Open any Office for Mac application
  2. Go to Help and then Check for Updates
  3. You will be able to choose whether you want to check for updates manually or automatically

Mobile apps

Apps downloaded from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store (Android) will receive updates directly from the store.

iOS

iOS App Store will automatically notify you if any updates are available for your downloaded apps. You can also configure your device to install app updates automatically:

  1. Tap Settings and then iTunes & App Store
  2. If prompted, sign in with your Apple ID
  3. Under the Automatic Downloads heading, make sure Updates is set to on

Android

Google provide their own instructions on how to update apps downloaded from the Play Store. These include details on how to enable automatic updates.