Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Security Tip: Patching

A few weeks ago I mentioned how anti-virus software isn't the end-all of computer security.  One of the most important parts of computer security is keeping all you programs up-to-date.  Windows does an all right job if you have automatic updates installed (and you install them right away).  But most other programs will only tell you when you run them again.  So if you have an application that hasn't been patched in a while, you could be vulnerable to some malware attacks.

I found an app called Secunia Personal Software Inspector that, like an antivirus program, will run scans on your computer on a predefined schedule.  It looks for any program that is not up-to-date and give you a link to the program's update page.  Their download page claims that 98 out of 100 computers have insecure programs on them.  If you don't think you need this, just make sure that you don't postpone any software updates.  If you're worried about the new fixes messing up the current configuration of the program, get a test computer and test out the new updates.

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