Exploit Wednesday & Uninstall Thursday: Stay safe after Patch Tuesday

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
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Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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Those of you that are actively following the continuous development of Microsoft products surely know about Microsoft Patch Tuesday.

For those of you that are just casual users, Patch Tuesday is an unofficial term used to refer to when Microsoft releases software updates for its products. It is also called that way because it is always the second Tuesday of each month.

While Patch Tuesday may be popular, fewer people know about Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday.

What exactly are Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday?

What is Exploit Wednesday?

ewedJust like you read the patch notes to see what are the new features included in the latest update, cybercriminals analyze the patch notes to see what the weak points are.

The day after Patch Tuesday there is usually a rise in the number of attacks against unpatched systems. This has been dubbed by some as Exploit Wednesday or Day Zero.

More so, plenty of malicious parties will also hold off on exploiting bugs found in Windows software until after Patch Tuesday.

How do I stay safe during Exploit Wednesday?

Malware launched during Exploit Wednesday specifically targets those that have not updated their system yet. Because of this, there are a few things you can do to avoid being a target:

  1. Install Windows updates as soon as they go live
    • One efficient way to do this is to set Windows Automatic Updates to Enabled
  2. Run only software that requires few privileges
  3. Do not access files from unknown or questionable sources
  4. Never visit sites of unknown or questionable integrity
  5. Do not allow external access at the network perimeter to all key systems

While these steps should be followed at all times, Exploit Wednesday is when you should be particularly careful.

What is Uninstall Thursday?

uthuMore of a joke in the Microsoft Community, it pokes fun at Microsoft’s tendency to never deliver a Patch Tuesday update without critical issues for some users.

Thus, Uninstall Thursday is basically the day after you realize what exactly in Patch Tuesday is causing issues with your PC, and you uninstall that particular component.

Normally, Uninstall Thursday is followed quickly by a day in which Microsoft releases hotfixes, so it is sometimes short-lived or doesn’t get to happen at all.

How do I stay safe during Uninstall Thursday?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about Uninstall Thursday, except for the following:

  1. Read the changelogs carefully to see what updates there are so you know what component you should uninstall
  2. Wait until Microsoft releases a hotfix for your particular problem

By following these steps, you should be able to get through every Patch Tuesday, Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday with minimal casualties (or hopefully, none at all) to your PC’s well-being.

What are your experiences with patch Tuesday and the days that follow it? If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments section below.

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