Late last week Microsoft announced that it had discovered a serious security flaw in Internet Explorer (versions 6 through 11!) that left users vulnerable to attack. Nefarious characters could use malicious sites to infect a target machine and even take it over remotely. Rather than wait for the regular monthly update, Redmond has decided to release a "out-of-band" update to address the issue. The update will start rolling out this afternoon around 1PM ET (10AM PT) and will quietly install if you have automatic updates turned on. If you're stubborn and insist on updating your machine manually, we highly suggest you make it a point to download this patch today.
If you're also clinging to your aging XP install, we have good news: Microsoft has decided to include your OS in this security update. Despite officially ending support for XP a few weeks ago, the company decided that the threat was serious enough to warrant an exception to the rule.