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Secure Configuration of Windows XP Desktops

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1 ENABLE AUTOMATIC UPDATES
Keeping Windows up-to-date with the latest secu-rity patches is by far the most important thing an organization can do to make desktops more secure. Fortunately, Windows XP contains a setting to apply the latest updates automatically. The technique used for enabling automatic updates varies, depending on whether the computer in question is a member of a domain.

If the Windows XP computer is not a domain member, then open the Control Panel and click the Performance and Maintenance link, followed by the System link. Windows will display the System Proper-ties sheet. Select the properties sheet's Automatic Updates tab (see Step 1, below) and then choose the Automatic (recommended) option. Finally, click OK to close the System Properties sheet.

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  1. Enable Automatic Updates
    Windows XP has a setting to apply the latest security patches automatically. Use the System Properties sheet's Automatic Updates tab to allow for automated updates.


You might have noticed in Step 1 that the automatic updates options were grayed out. That's because the screenshot is of a computer that is a domain member, and automatic updates are being controlled by some group policy settings.

This was first published in July 2008

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