This week brought updates that I consider critical for the “Big Three” — my operating system (Windows), my browser (Google Chrome) and my phone (from Apple). All three releases patch major zero-day vulnerabilities on all three platforms.
While I strongly recommend that you patch Chrome and your iPhone as soon as possible, I always recommend that you hold back on updating Windows. That remains true — at least until we see whether there are any trending side effects from the Patch Tuesday updates.
Let’s break down the patching to do right away.
First, prioritize patching Apple devices. Among this week’s patches is one for Pegasus spyware, which can open up access to the camera and microphone as well as text messages, phone calls, and emails. iPhones, in particular, have been targeted. Apple typically pushes these updates overnight if your phone is plugged in and charging (and connected to the Internet). If you want to make sure your iPhone has received the update, click on Settings, then General, then tap Software Update. Typically, after my iPhone updates, some apps may need passwords again. I personally try to save critical ones in the iCloud keychain. Look for patches for iOS 14.8 and iPad OS 14.8, and Security Update 2021-005 for macOS Catalina and Big Sur 11.6.