What is a software update?
Software updates are also referred to as patches.  They are free programs that address issues with the software or adds more hardware support.  The need to release an update is due to the fact that a problem arises that was not apparent before the product was released. It is important to set your computer to do automatic updates on the products you have installed unless you have a product installed that may have compatiblity issues.

What risk are involved?
If your operating system goes unpatched, it leaves your computer or server vulnerable to hackers as well as malware and viruses.

What can I do to protect myself?
For Windows users you can set you computer to download operating system updates on a regular basis.  Go to the Control Panel and find Systemor Automatic Updates or in the Tools menu in Internet Explorer. 

Mac OS users should consult the software update pane in the System Preferences utility to manually or automatically schedule updates.