The second Tuesday of every month is known as Patch Tuesday. Microsoft and other developers release software fixes and enhancements, collectively known as "updates".
Today, February 9, so far I've seen updates for Windows, Adobe AIR, Flash and Firefox. Java released a fairly urgent update two days ago.
The easiest way to get the most updates installed with the least amount of work and decision-making is to use Ninite. While you can't update Windows, Office, Flash, CCleaner or Adobe Reader with it, you can easily check for and install updates for Firefox, Chrome, Adobe AIR, Shockwave, Java, iTunes, QuickTime, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, VLC, Picasa, Paint.Net, The Gimp, Google Docs, Google Earth, Google Drive, Dropbox, Audacity, FoxIt Reader and a lot of other useful, free utilities and apps. If I've worked on your computer in the last several years I installed Ninite to update the apps on your computer. If you can't find it, ask.
To update Flash, go to the Adobe web site, then click on Flash Player in the lower right corner and follow the prompts. Be sure to uncheck any boxes that offer to also install any 3rd-party apps like toolbars or search engines or security scanners.
To update CCleaner, open CCleaner and click the "Check for updates" link in the lower-right. When you get to the web page scroll all the way down and click "No Thanks" to the upgrade offer. On the next page click the Download button under CCleaner Free; save it to your computer, then find the installer and run it. Always save anything you download, rather than running it so your antivirus has a chance to check it.
To update Adobe/Acrobat Reader, open Reader, click Help - check for updates and follow the prompts.
To install Microsoft updates in Windows 7, click the Start button, go to Windows Update, then click Check for Updates and follow the prompts. You don't need every optional or hardware update, but do install all the Important ones. You may need to restart your computer to complete the installation.
When should you install updates? Waiting a few days for any bugs to surface and get fixed is a good idea, but those prompts to install updates are pretty compelling. You can do a System Restore if things go wrong, so do what works for you.
If you have questions or want help I can connect to your computer with your help via remote - call, text or email.
Cathy Contant 315-573-4905 firstname.lastname@example.org