It is incredibly important to maintain your Windows PC by making sure Windows Updates are automatically applied and the software you are running is the current version. The main reason is that vulnerabilities are exposed all the time in your operating system and the software you run that can lead to a computer that is slow, infected or just won’t work properly. Then you get to go through the hassle of fixing it or buying a new computer and transferring all your data from the old computer to the new. And that is if you know what you are doing… you might need to hire someone to help you which is even more expense.
Today, I am going to talk about why you should make sure Windows Updates are turned on, and why you should consider installing Secunia to make sure your programs are up to date.
It amazes me how often I sit down at a computer to find that Windows Updates have NEVER been applied or that the versions of software people are running are out of date. Windows Update is provided by Microsoft for FREE and should be turned on to make sure your operating system is as secure as possible. It is a straight forward process to make sure that Windows Updates are turned on and installed while you are sleeping. To make sure Automatic Updates are enabled on your computer, click here for Windows XP instructions or click here for Windows 7 instructions. You can schedule the updates to be applied at 2am and then have the computer reboot itself. I recommend you do that. I have Windows Updates turned on to install patches automatically on every Windows PC for business and personal use.
I was reading this article from Maximum PC magazine last night and found a reference to Secunia. Secunia makes a free piece of software called PSI that can scan your computer and tell you if there is any software that has an update available for it. Windows Update will make sure your operating system is up to date, but won’t find updates for all your other programs. I installed Secunia PSI today and ran the scan. I was surprised to see it find 3 programs that had patches available. Even better, there is a “Download Now” icon within Secunia that you can click on to install the recommended patch from directly within the program. The program will continue to run in my taskbar and check for any available updates each day. I recommend you install and run this software to see if you are missing any patches for Adobe Air, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader and tons of other programs.
The last thing that any of us want to deal with is a computer infected with a virus, and making sure Windows Updates are turned on and your programs are up to date with Secunia are good steps to avoid that situation!