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If your computer seems to be working fine, you may wonder why you should apply a patch. By not applying patches, you might be leaving the door open for malware to come in.

Available To 
Students, Faculty, Staff, Affiliates

Benefits and key features

Malware (such as viruses and worms) will exploit software flaws on your computer in order to do their work. Knowing how to patch your computer automatically while at MIT can prevent major headaches. IS&T can help you set up automatic patches so that you don't even have to think about it.

Features include:

  • Security updates for Mac OS and Windows operating systems
  • New releases of IS&T provided software
  • MIT Windows Automatic Update Service (WAUS)
  • Red Hat Network (RHN)


MIT certificates are required to download anti-virus software, new versions of IS&T-supported software and to subscribe to automatic updates.

Getting started


  • The Automatic Updates feature in your operating system provides an option for you to be notified of any updates before downloading them or it installs them automatically. The frequency of notification is up to you.
  • At MIT, if you subscribe instead to the Windows Automatic Update Service (WAUS), you will receive a more conservative selection of the most critical security updates from Microsoft.


  • Mac OS X automatically checks for software updates provided you have an Internet connection. You can choose a different schedule (set weekly by default) or check manually. If you see an update that you will never use, you can deselect it from the update menu.


Receive announcements

To receive announcements about security updates and patches for the most common operating systems and software, subscribe to Security-FYI, the newsletter destributed weekly to the MIT community. You can also view announcements online at the Security-FYI blog.

Learn more about applying patches and OS updates.

New versions of software

Check out the software download page to see if new versions of IS&T-supported software have been released.