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Keep your computers, phones, applications, etc. up to date while you are offsite

The University of Waikato encourages you to regularly update your computer regardless of your location – whether on or off-campus. Lack of Operating System and Software updates  makes your computer vulnerable to cyber-criminals who look out for these opportunities to sneak on to your computer and snatch sensitive data, commit identity theft, or hijack your computer to use it to send spam or spread viruses to other computers. Therefore, it is highly recommended you perform regular updates on  your computer's Operating System and the software you have installed.

While on campus computers are regularly updated using different methods, most of which are automated and need little, if any user interaction. However, updating off-campus computers in a timely manner may require user input to start the update, or respond to prompts during the updating  process. Here's how to update security holes and fight cyber crime on your off-campus computers:

Microsoft Windows Computers

The University's Windows Software Update Server (WSUS) is not available from off-campus locations. Therefore, University-owned Microsoft Windows computers will not pick up new updates from the University's WSUS server unless connected to the on-campus network or connecting in via VPN Remote Access. However, off-campus users can use 'Windows Update' to get the latest updates from Microsoft instead of from our WSUS server.

In most cases, the end user doesn't need to start the 'Windows Update' process, as the computers are configured with the 'automatic update' option enabled. But sometimes 'Windows Update' will need your input during an installation. In this case, you'll see an alert in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar — be sure to click it. If you don't respond to a Windows Update alert, the update will not complete and your computer will be at risk!

If in doubt as to whether your computer is being automatically updated then you should manually run the update process. Running the update manually will not cause issues with the automated update process, so can be safely performed at any time. To manually start the 'Windows Update' process, if you need to:

  • In Windows search box (Start button -> Search programs and files), type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.
  • In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.
  • If you see a message telling you that important updates are available, or telling you to review important updates, click the message to view and select the important updates to install.
  • In the list, click the important updates for more information. Select the check boxes for any updates that you want to install, and then click OK.
  • Click Install updates.
  • Depending on the updates being installed you may be asked to restart your computer.

Apple Mac Computers and iOS Devices

Apple Mac Computers

A University Apple Software Update Server (ASUS) is available for updating University Apple Mac computers on campus, but by default end users do not have sufficient privileges to install updates themselves. However, Mac computers which are registered to use the Casper Self Service have the option to run ASUS in an elevated capacity as follows:

Update using Self Service on Mac Computers

  • End users can perform software self-install functions through a program called Self Service. To run the program, open Apple's finder, choose Applications in the left hand pane, then choose Self Service in the right hand pane.
  • Once you're in Self Service, there are 3 Window panes.  The Left hand pane will allow you to toggle the middle pane between package options and the installation status. The Middle pane shows either the packages available to deploy or the installation status. The Right hand pane shows the software Categories to choose from which will change the options in the Middle pane. If you have selected Self Service in the left pane, then the name of the chosen category will appear at the top of the middle pane.
  • In listed categories (left pane), always click on Updates and see if there are any Applications that need to be updated. If yes, update them by clicking UPDATE.

        Mac self-service2 

Apple iOS devices

Update using the Casper Self Service App

  • Click on Self Service App

        iOS selfservice 

  • Click Updates at bottom and ensure 'All apps up to date '  

         iOS selfservice2

Update using Apps Store for iOS devices

  • Click on Apps Store app

         iOS Apps Store1 

  • Click Updates at bottom and update Apps that are pending until you update everything listed there

         iOS Apps Store2

Android device (tablets\mobile phones) and Apps

In order to achieve best performance, features and optimum security from your Android smartphone or tablet you should make sure you're running the latest firmware and Apps.

Android software on tablets and mobile phones

The procedure for Android mobiles (you will see similar settings in Android tablets too) is as follow:

The software update settings on your device can be found under settings--> About phone --> software update--> unselect the WIFI only option and then click on Update --> check for updates


After clicking on update whether on WIFI or Mobile networks, the device will give a pop up saying "Connecting to server"


Then the device will start downloading the update package, and the progress will be shown in the progress bar. Once downloaded the latest firmware, the device will install the update package and will take around 15-20 minutes for the installation.  The device will reboot and give a pop up saying "Android is upgrading". Once the device is updated, it displays the pop up below:


Click on Install and the device will give a pop up that the device will be rebooted.  After the device boots up, the device will give a pop up which says "device successfully updated".

The updated software version can be checked by going to the following menu: Settingsà About Phone

Update Apps on your Android device using Google Play Store app                               

The Apps on your Android device can be updated by following Google's instructions

Application Updates

In most of applications, you can usually find updates under the Tools or Help menu. For example: Mozilla Firefox: Helpà About Firefoxà In 'About Mozilla Firefox' window, click button 'Check for updates'


It is recommended that where applications are not set to check for updates automatically that you regularly manually check for updates, especially for applications used to access, or open content from, the Internet (eg web browsers, PDF readers, etc.).


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