Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Office 2003, Service Pack 3 is Now Available

If you're running Office 2003, you can now download and install the latest service pack for Office 2003, which contains various fixes and greater security for your system.

At some point, your version of Office 2003 may let you know about this update and ask you if you want to install it. However, if you don't want to wait until your turn rolls around, you can go to the Microsoft Office Update page to see what Service Releases you should have on your system.

Go to this link: http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us and your system will be checked. You will then see what updates are missing from your computer and have the choice of what you want installed.

If you prefer to download the file and update it manually, you can get it here: Office 2003 SP3

To learn more about using/installing this update, see this KB (Knowledgebase article):
Description of Office 2003 Service Pack 3

To see more details about what has been fixed/updated in this release, see this KB:
Issues that are fixed in Office 2003 by Office 2003 Service Pack 3

One important issue to be aware of is that this release will add tighter security and that may mean that you will get an error if you attempt to open older, legacy documents from previous versions of Office, which may not have access to this increased anti-hacker security. If this is a concern or you get an error trying to open docs after installing SP3, see these two KB articles (or read all these articles first, so you know what to expect):

You receive an error message when you try to open a file or to save a file after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3

Information about certain file formats that are blocked after you install Office 2003 Service Pack 3

Why should you care about having the latest updates? Mainly for security reasons. In this age of identity theft, you want to make sure that your computer is well protected. As thieves come up with new ways to break into your computer, with a virus or spyware that can access your personal information, software companies come up with new barricades to stop those newfangled attacks. But if you're running an outdated system, you won't be protected from the latest round of attacks. This is true with email, too. You want your antivirus and spyware software to always be updated and to regularly check your system.

If you don't understand these processes, go to the TechTrax Archives and search for those terms. Run a search for SPYWARE and one for ANTIVIRUS. That'll give you articles that will explain why it is so important to keep things updated.

If you don't want to take the time to run the search and/or you don't think updates are important, at least read this article:
As the Worm Turns...Your Computer into a Zombie

Oh, and if you think you're safe on a Mac or Unix box, read the above article, too...because you may not be as safe as you think you are!