Computer current?

July 25, 2007 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Computers, Online services | 6 Comments

Keeping the software on your computer up to date with the latest security patches can be a real pain. Especially when there is so many sites to check.

Heres a site that inspects your most critical applications for security updates. Its a free browser based Java application. http://secunia.com/software_inspector/

The results will highlight applications that need updates to keep you secure with links to get the updates.

This may not seem very important but nowadays, web sites can infect your computer simply by going to them. A surprising number of things  are used by web sites, including Java, Quicktime, Real,  Flash, Acrobat, and so forth.

Heres a few things that might surprise you:

1) Java – even though you may have updated it, Java does not uninstall the previous insecure versions, leaving you open to threats. Go to Control Panel, Add Remove programs and Remove all versions of Java up to the current version. (unless you have a specific reason for needing an old version, such as an out of date application) As each version is an additional ~100 MB, this can open up some disc space. Make sure your latest version is the current one.

2) Flash – even though you may have updated it, it too leaves older versions behind. Macromedia (now part of Adobe) does not see fit to remove or offer uninstallers for older versions. They claim only the current version is registered, so its the only one to worry about (it should be version 9). The other ones Secunia finds, you can ignore as theres nothing easy to do about it. Its not currently a threat.

3) old programs – You may have installed a few programs on your computer to try them out, then didn’t use them. As a result, they have not been updated and thus leave a hole. Uninstall them, as with Java above. Or if you think you may still use them, update them. Try its Help menu for an Update Now option.

6 Comments »

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  1. […] computer is that some program updaters are then off and you have to do it manually on occasion. Secunia’s Software Inspector may help solve that […]

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  2. […] 6, 2007 at 11:03 am | In Web Apps, Computers, Software, Media | In my post on keeping your computer current, I talked about the pain of keeping your computer current and safe. All those nice media players – […]

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  3. […] we end up turning off or disabling such nags and bogging. But then we have to watch for updates. In a previous post, I talked about keeping your computer current and secure. More recently, i tried the new install […]

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  4. I will like to have compile note on practical (PowerPont)

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  5. The old Flash versions became an issue and Adobe released an uninstaller. Some suggest uninstalling all versions with their tool, then put the newest in.

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  6. Austin – I’m not sure what you mean. If you use the Secunia tool, it will tell you what needs to be updated, what is old and no longer has updates, and what old trash you have around. This will vary by computer, even ones that are set up the same.

    I considered my computer pretty current, but the tool found some old trash to deal with. Secunia now has a download version that searches even more programs.

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