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updated 2/13/2012 2:25:53 PM ET 2012-02-13T19:25:53

Microsoft is showing Valentine's Day love to its customers by releasing nine patches tomorrow to fix 21 security glitches in several of its major software products, including Windows, Internet Explorer and Office.

For its monthly Patch Tuesday affair, to be released tomorrow (Feb. 14), Microsoft's nine patches tackle vulnerabilities in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Internet Explorer, Office, Silverlight and the company's .Net Framework, Microsoft said in an advance notification on its TechNet blog.

Four of the nine updates come with the "Critical" label, meaning an attacker could exploit the flaws to take over infected computers and drop malware on them. The other five updates are labeled "Important," and could enable an attacker to obtain elevated privileges on an unpatched computer and, in some, cases, to remotely execute malicious code.

Other programs Microsoft is releasing updates for include SharePoint Server 2010 and Visio 2010, a diagramming tool that's part of the Office suite. As it typically does, Microsoft is also updating its Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

The nine updates are set to be released at 1 pm ET, and can be downloaded at Microsoft's website under the "Microsoft Download Center" header.

If you're running any Microsoft software on your system — you most likely are — make sure to download the updates. To save yourself the hassle, go into "Windows Update" in the Control Panel and set the app to download and install updates automatically.

No matter how vigilant you are, and how safely you browse the Web, having up-to-date software, coupled with anti-virus and anti-malware software, will help detect and eliminate threats before they get to you.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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