Windows 8 already getting security patches

Windows 8 is barely two weeks old, but apparently it's already in need of patching. As reported by PC World and other outlets, the new operating system's first security updates will arrive tomorrow  as part of a package of fixes released during Microsoft's monthly patch-fest.

That may seem a little discouraging, especially if you recently purchased a new Windows 8 laptop with the hopes of a more secure computing experience. After all, Microsoft has touted such advanced security features as systemwide SmartScreen protection, Dynamic Access Control, and the Windows App Store, which carefully screens software before making it available for download.

But the truth is that no operating system is totally secure, and it's good to see Microsoft addressing known vulnerabilities right out of the gate.

That said, there's one very effective way to keep your system safe while you travel, and that's to use your laptop as a "dumb" terminal.

Suppose, for example, a hacker manages to break into your system while you're on the road, maybe because you're connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot. Or, even worse, your laptop gets lost or stolen.

The problem, of course, is that now all your data is vulnerable. But what if your data wasn't stored on that laptop? If you keep all your important stuff on the super-secure PC that's back in your office, then remotely connect to that PC as needed, you don't have to worry about your laptop being compromised.

You can do that by using remote-access software like LogMeIn Free, which gives you full control over that office PC, same as if you were sitting right in front of it. (If you want to learn more, check out "How to Control Your PC or Mac from the Road.")

In other words, leave your laptop empty save for a browser, which is the only thing you need to use LogMeIn; all your programs and files can stay behind, safe and sound. Even if hackers find a Windows hole wider than the Grand Canyon, you won't have to worry about a security breach.

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