I haven't written about Patch Tuesday lately. For those of you who are unaware, Patch Tuesday occurs every month when Microsoft releases patches for its products such as Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. Patches are updates to programs that bring increased security and possible improvements to products. Yesterday (May 14) Microsoft released a rather large number of patches. You'll see these 33 patches come across your computer in the form of automatic updates in the next several days. The highest profile patch fixes a high-profile vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8, among other holes. All 33 upgrades will address bugs in a range of software. The flaws have been grouped into 10 sets of holes: two marked critical and eight important. The critical updates fix vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer that allow hackers to remotely execute malicious code on computers. This update affects all versions of the web browser from IE6 to IE10 on all Windows operating systems from XP to Windows 8. Microsoft developed and tested a fix for the IE8 bug in less than two weeks, which is a much faster turnaround than normal. This speed reflects recognition of the seriousness of the flaw. In most cases your computer will install Microsoft updates automatically. If not it should prompt you to install them. Do it. It is for your computer's protection. Of course, you should always update Java and Flash as well.