I use Vista and have my computer set so that when there are Windows updates to instal, I get a message when I turn on the laptop. I check whether they are relevant to my computer and most of them are, I then click to instal. They instal in the background, some require a re-boot of the computer and I'm given the option to re-boot immediately or postpone. I usually postpone and then re-boot when I leave the laptop to do something else.
My laptop is switched on about 9.00am and switched off at around midnight.
Other updates to Roboform etc. work in the same way. I'd never give permission for updates to be done automatically.