Although, you might have enabled Windows Updates to download and install the latest security patches automatically, it is a good practice to occasionally analyze your system against a baseline. Microsoft has a free tool that allows you to scan your computer and checks for compliance with Microsoft’s security recommendations.
- Enable Windows Update and other third-party applications that have update support to update automatically.
- Limit the rights and privileges granted to normal users using the system.
- Set a combination of share and NTFS permissions on files and shared resources.
- Hide any objects that a user is not permitted to access.
- Users with Administrator rights should use the system only when performing administrative tasks. Otherwise use a normal user account.
- Enable User Account Control (UAC) for administrator accounts.
- Use low privileged service accounts for services that do not require elevated privileges.
- Enable windows firewall and install suitable anti-virus/spyware solutions.
There are a number of commercial and open-source tools available to help you perform system security scanning and vulnerability testing of your Windows 7 system, however, the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer is a great tool (free and easy t o use) that checks for compliance with Microsoft’s security recommendations.
Read more about Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer tool here – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/cc184924
You can configure several Windows Update settings using the Local Group Policy Editor that you cannot configure using the Windows Update control panel. For instance, you can configure your computer to wake if it is in hibernation when the assigned automatic update period occurs or allow updates to install automatically if they do not require a restart as shown in the following steps:
The Windows Update tool will allow you to configure how Windows 7 deals with important updates, such as allowing standard users to install updates, frequency at which updates are checked, etc. To be able to configure Windows Update you need administrative privileges and to load the tool click on the Change Settings item from control panel. The available settings are explained below:
Scheduled automatic updates may require a restart of your system and if you happen to be away from your computer a forced shutdown can cause problems. You may have running programs with open data files and the waiting time during a forced restart may not be enough to gracefully close these files. These data files can become corrupted!
Windows Update allows software updates related to the operating system, default and other Microsoft applications such as WordPad and Office, to be downloaded automatically to clients running Windows 7. To configure Windows Update to automatically download and install these updates follow the steps below:
Windows 7 users need to ensure that software updates and service packs are applied in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to understand the different options available to manage Windows Updates, know how to verify your current configuration and take the necessary measures to ensure that your system is up-to-date with the latest updates. The most basic way to manage Windows Update is through the control panel, however there are other tools, such as Local Group Policies and the command line. For instance, to perform a manual check for updates from the command line issue the command Wuauclt.exe /detectnow.