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Software Patches Made Easy

Software Patches Made Easy
 
Did you know that Windows is not the only thing on your computer that's important to keep updated? There are critical* updates available for Internet Explorer, Acrobat Reader, Quicktime, iTunes, Firefox, Google Chrome, World of Warcraft, Flash and thousands of other programs.

There is a company, Secunia, that helps find and get these updates. They even have a program (Software Inspector) which tells you which ones you need. And it's free for home use.

You can visit their site at secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/online/ (please do this at home, not on your county computer) and run the free on-line scanner. It will give you a list of programs with missing patches as well as links to the actual patch.

The first time you run it you may find it a bit overwhelming, but just start going through the list, applying the patches. Once done you will have a much safer computer. There-after you can visit once a month or so to keep up-to-date.

Secunia also has a downloadable version of their Software Inspector that you install on your computer. It does a better job of identifying needed patches.

*By "critical" I mean an update that fixes a bug in a program that would allow someone to take over your computer, or otherwise seriously screw things up.

Discuss this article here.

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Last modified at 8/9/2012 2:45 PM  by Neal Kling