In conjunction with antivirus, antispyware, and personal firewall software, automatic updates are a critical part of a solid security strategy because they shut down avenues of attack as soon as they are discovered. Malware often relies on flaws found in software to work. These flaws are akin to open side doors to your home that, hopefully, nobody knows about. There they stand as an open invitation for malware to walk in. Automatic updates don't just shut the door; they usually remove the door entirely and put a permanent wall in its place. You can enable and configure automatic updates in the Security section in Action Center. If daily updates at 3:00 a.m. do not suit you, adjust the time and frequency as you like.
^ For a detailed discussion of the important automatic update technologies in Windows 7, see "Windows 7 and Keeping Up to Date," p. 757.
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