If you are a security conscious computer user you are, most likely, generally well armed when it comes to ensuring your system is not open to compromise, or exploitation, by malware in the wild.
It is probable you have protected your machine with an appropriate defense system including a firewall (either software or hardware), a sound and effective malware suite (including anti-virus and spyware), and an additional protection layer against zero-day threats with the installation of an application such as ThreatFire developed by PC Tools.
You can relax and you can consider yourself relatively safe, or perhaps even invulnerable, right? Well, maybe not. Sure, most of use Microsoft’s Windows Update so that we are current with operating system critical updates, and security fixes. You can determine whether or not you are running the latest WUA by visiting Windows Update.
But, and this is a critical “but”, where many of us may still be vulnerable is in the lack of consideration we have given to the vulnerabilities that exist in our currently installed applications.
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Some recent application vulnerabilities include, Mozilla FireFox, Apple iTunes, QuickTime, Skype internet phone, Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.02, 6.03, Sun Java Run-Time, Macromedia Flash 7, WinZip 8.1, AOL Instant Messenger 5.5, Windows/MSN Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger 6.0, Bit Defender, and RealPlayer.
So, wouldn’t it be great if there was an application that could do the job of ensuring that all installed applications were either patched or up-to-date? Well, there is; and it’s free. After 17 months of in-depth beta testing, Secunia has just released Version 1.0 of its free Personal Software Inspector (PSI).
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The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) constantly monitors your system for insecure software installations, notifies you when an insecure application is installed, and even provides you with detailed instructions for updating the application when available.
ZD Net, one of my favorite web sites has stated “Secunia Personal Software Inspector, quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine”.
Installing this small free application will definitely assist you in identifying possible security leaks; give it a try.
The Secunia PSI is free for private use.
Downloaded over 800,000 times
Allows you to secure your PC – Patch your applications – Be proactive
Scans for Insecure and End-of-Life applications
Verifies that all Microsoft patches are applied
Tracks your patch-performance week by week
Direct and easy access to security patches.
Detects more than 300,000 unique application versions
Provides a detailed report of missing security related updates
Provides a tabbed report which indicates programs that are no longer supported – programs with all known patches – insecure programs, etc.
Provides a Toolbox offering a set of links which helps you assess a problem and how you can resolve it.
System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP 32/64bit, and Vista 32/64bit
Download at: Download.com
As an added bonus for users, Secunia provides a forum “where PSI users can discuss patching, product updates, exploits, the PSI, and anything else security-related”.