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How do I know which updates to trust?

Yes, people, you do want to keep up with security updates for all those programs and such on your computers. But, how do you recognize the legitimate ones? The written list includes: Windows Security Updates, Adobe Reader and Flash updates (or pretty much any update from Adobe) and Java.

Here are images of what to trust. They often pop up with an alert and then also leave a small icon down in the system tray, that little bar full of icons next to the digital clock in the lower right of your computer screen. Apply these updates sooner rather than later. If you are in the middle of something, at least keep the alert on the screen behind what you are working on so that you remember later to do the updates.

Windows Security Updates, part of Windows Update, will bring both security and Office and other Microsoft product updates. There are a variety of icon alerts, depending on your version of Windows.

  

 

Adobe Reader

Adobe Flash

Adobe products are moving towards asking you if you want to install updates automatically and in the background. If you see such a question, consider saying yes.

You can check for the most commonly needed updates at secunia.com, using their “Online Software Inspector (OSI)”

Apple also has updates, from Software Update which you can always check using the Apple icon in the upper left of your computer screen, and updates also for Adobe Flash and Reader. Microsoft Office runs its own updater and you may see notices from its monthly check, unless you disabled or changed it.

Why don’t the malicious software writers just use these images to trick you into thinking they are also legitimate? I suspect lawyers. But, they often uses images that are very similar, maybe just different color schemes or use the words security something or other.