Are these updates for real?

A reader is concerned about some recent emails:

“I have gotten two e-mails, from 2nd parties, with updates for Windows. Since I have have not been able to verify that they are indeed from Microsoft I haven’t opened and installed their contents. I do hope that if Microsoft is using 2nd parties to send out updates that there is some way to easily identify them as authorized parties.”

You’re right to be concerned. Microsoft doesn’t send out updates via email with clickable links. Updates for Windows devices are delivered through the Windows Update Center on your PC. For supported systems like Windows 10 and 11, those updates come automatically. 

 You’ll NEVER install Windows update by clicking on a link in an email.  To look for updates on your computer, just type Check for updates into your search box and click on the results. 

You’ll be able to see if any updates are available.

If it claims to be a Windows update and requires you to click on a link, it’s simply a phishing scam that could lead to your PC being attacked by ransomware. It is possible you might receive notifications for software or firmware updates to components of your PC or peripheral devices. These would NEVER say they are Windows updates. They would specifically tell you what device or piece of equipment the update is for. If you do indeed have that device, you could either search for updates using Device Manager or go to the website for the product. And I mean, go look up the website on your own.  Don’t click on any links in that email.

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