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Keep Your Apple Software Up To Date!

Regularly updating your computer system software will keep you safer from hackers, worms, bugs, and other bad things. Follow these simple instructions to keep your Mac up-to-date.

One of the most important things you can do to protect your computer and the data on it is to keep your system software up to date. Apple makes this relativly easy for you to do this in Mac OS X using the "Software Update" tool from the System Preferences.

It is a good idea to run the "Software Update" tool once a week to make sure your system software is up to date. You should also run it if you hear of a problem affecting Apple computers.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. To use Software Update, open the Systems Preferences item under the Apple menu and select "Software Update".

  2. Press the "Check Now" button to check for new updates. Your computer will connect to apple.com and find any updates that need to be installed.
    You can also tell your computer to automatically check for new updates. Select "Check Daily" to enable this feature.

  3. If there are any updates they will be listed (there could be several), and you can uncheck any you don't want to install (eg. there is no need to install Bluetooth or Airport updates if you don't have Bluetooth or Airport hardware).

  4. Press the "Install" button to install the updates. You will be asked for authorization. You need to enter your administration account name (eg. "admin") and the password for this adminstration account (not the same as your regular password).

  5. Some updates will ask you to agree to the the terms of a license. You will need to press the "Agree" button for each in order to proceede.

  6. Some updates, especially Security Updates, may fail to install from your user account. In this case you need to log off your own user account and log in to the computer as an administrator (eg. "admin") with the administrator password. Then re-run "Software Update" as described above.
    It is generally a good idea to do your day-to-day work on a non-privledged user account (like "home"), so that you can't accidentally break something and so that a virus or worm in an e-mail cannot change your system. You should only log in to an administration account to do things like install new sofware or to apply Security Updates. Then log out and log back in to your regular user account.

  7. Some updates require that your computer reboot after the update is installed. (These have a blue "restart" button next to them.) When all updates have been installed you will be prompted to restart your machine.
That's all you need to do, but please remember to do this often, at least once a month and usually once a week.  

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