Apply Updates

Set your software to auto-update. Install updates, and restart if needed.

Millions of lines of code are written every day. With so much code, there are bound to be bugs- but some bugs put your data at risk. We call those vulnerabilities. Software updates fix the code that makes us vulnerable. Follow the links below to learn how to keep your systems at Harvard and at home secure and up to date. 

Staying Up to Date

Harvard-Managed Systems

Well Supported

The various schools and units within Harvard provide support for many systems through system management software. The best way to get updates for your Harvard managed system is through that software. 

Hurry up or Wait

Some times, for technical or compatibility reasons, your support team may delay updating a specific piece of software. Other times, your support team may ask that you apply a patch immediately in response to a particularly nasty threat. In either case, follow the guidance of your local support team. What they will never do is send an update as an E-mail attachment, or have a representative of a vendor like Microsoft contact you directly. If you receive a call or message like this, it is a scam. 

Staying Managed

The following system management tools are used by the various schools at the University. If you don't see the software running in your system tray, contact your local support desk to get it installed. 

School Windows Management OS X Management Rebooting Schedule
HUIT Managed Systems SCCM Casper Users should reboot weekly. Feel free to shutdown your computer at night.

Self-Managed Systems

Harvard managed systems aren't the only ones that need to stay up-to-date. Here are some great resources for keeping your personal systems updated and secure. 

Operating System Updates (Windows)

Microsoft Update handles updates for installed Microsoft products. Go to to see how to turn on automatic updates for the various versions of Windows. 

Operating System Updates (OS X)

Apple provides updates for OS X and App Store applications through Mac App Store. Follow this link to see how to use it,

Application Updates (Windows)

Microsoft Update provides updates for products purchased through the Microsoft Store. For other updates, you may consider SUMo, a free software update notifier for personal use. Learn more at

Application Updates (OS X)

Mac Informer is a tool for keeping track of updates for your Mac, including software that wasn't installed from the Mac App Store. It is free for personal use. Visit for more information.

End of Life

Nothing Lasts Forever

If the updates stop coming, does that mean there are no more bugs? No! Manufacturers eventually stop supporting their older products as new ones replace them. If you’re using outdated products—such as iPhone 4 or Windows XP—plan to upgrade as soon as you can.