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The Finance and Operations IT Security Team is committed to supporting your productivity and safeguarding your digital assets. To that end, we periodically share essential security information to keep you informed and protected. Please take a moment to review the following recommendations, and feel free to reach out to us at 919-962-HELP or if you have any questions.

Keeping computers up to date with the latest patches is one of the best ways to avoid malware, ransomware and crashes. Here are some quick and easy things you can do to make staying patched easier.

  • Put an appointment on your calendar to block time to patch your computer.
    • The University releases its monthly patches on the third Tuesday of each month. Each computer has a week to install the required patches before the computer forces the installation.
    • For computers used off campus, patches are released on the second Tuesday of each month.
    • Setting aside a half hour the afternoon of these Tuesdays (or the next day) each month will ensure you are patched and won’t get interrupted while doing other work.
  • Reboot your computer at least once a week.
    • It is an IT trope to ask, “Have you turned it off and back on?” But it really helps.
    • Doing this daily or weekly will make your computer both work faster and crash less often.
    • On Windows 10 and 11, be sure to “Restart.” Doing a shutdown does not clear all memory usage or program errors, while a restart will clear computer memory and force all programs to relaunch. A shutdown saves energy, but a restart clears problems.
  • Reboot your phone at least once a week.
    • Rebooting your phone relaunches the system and can clear memory, making the phone seem faster.
    • Most phones come with two years of security updates. Apple and Google have very limited support for operating system versions over two years old and usually do not provide security patches for their older OS versions.
    • Phone manufacturers support their phones for a limited time, usually four to six years. If your phone has not received a security update recently, it can pose a risk for you and the University.
  • F&O IT does contact users who have not restarted their computers for needed patching.
    • University-managed computers and phones with overdue patches or security updates may be disabled until the patch can be installed.

Remember, our team is here to support you. If you need guidance on the above tips or would like a more in-depth consultation for you or your department, we’re here for you.

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