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Update the Operating System

Update the operating system to prevent security compromises

What are operating system updates?

An operating system (e.g. Windows XP, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris) is the core set of programs that run a computer and upon which all other programs rely in order to operate. Operating system updates are corrections for program incompatiblities, discovered errors, and security vulnerabilities. There are errors and security problems discovered in every operating system and updates are created and distributed on a regular basis.

Why do I need to update my operating system?

Operating system updates often address security vulnerabilities that have been discovered or not previously disclosed. If operating system updates are not installed in a timely manner it can lead to unauthorized access, theft of personal, confidential, or Protected Health Information, or the destruction of data. The UCSF community is encouraged to use automatic operating system updates, where available, to help prevent these types of problems and to meet the minimum security requirements. For those systems where automatic operating system updates are not available a plan should be put in place which 1) identifies which systems are not automatically updated, 2) states which resource(s) will be used to determine if an operating system update is available, and 3) directs how and by whom  the update will be installed.

Where can I get operating system updates?

Where to get operating system updates will depend upon which operating system it is and what method is used to retrieve the updates. Follow these links for instructions on how to turn on automatic updates.

Now that automatic updates are activated you must watch for prompts from the computer stating that new updates are available and ready for downloading and/or installing. When the installation is completed the computer may prompt the user to "restart."  To prevent losing any work, save or close any open documents or programs before allowing the restart.

Other operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc, have their own methods for updating their operating systems. Please check the operating system's documentation for instructions.

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