As part of its monthly patch distribution, Microsoft has issued a series of new security updates for Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Excel, and Outlook. 

Three of the vulnerabilities addressed by the patches are rated as critical (Microsoft's highest severity rating), and if left could allow hackers to remotely execute code (such as a worm) on vulnerable PCs.
"It may be a new year, but the old problem of keeping on top of security patches remains for computer users," says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.
Businesses and home users should patch their PCs as soon as possible before hackers take advantage of the vulnerabilities in Microsoft's software.
"To properly protect your PC from the hackers you need to not only practise safe computing, but also ensure it is receiving regular security patches, as well as defended by anti-malware software and a strong firewall. Anything less and you are asking for trouble."