To say nothing of Microsoft Windows, there are few, if any, application software packages that are free of security vulnerabilities. The SANS Institute publishes its Top 20 Internet Security Attack Targets on a regular basis and Secunia currently lists 14,043 pieces of software and operating systems with vulnerabilities. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that most reputable software companies, when informed of a vulnerability by security researchers, promptly issue a software patch to fix it. These are widely available to the public for free download or through update features built into the software packages. Windows allows you to turn on Automatic Updates (which you should do). Check the Help menu in other software packages for the update feature.

There’s more bad news, however. Most people don’t keep up with patches on their systems except for Windows updates. Which brings us to computer security Maxim #5:

A vital part of PC security is keeping up with software patches for ALL of the software on your system, not just the operating system. Where it is available, use the software’s automatic updates feature.

The Geek

Have a computer problem? A question about your latest gadget? Click here to Ask the Geek! Kenny “The Geek” Harthun has been playing with geeky stuff since 1965. He’s a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with Connective Computing, Inc. providing network, desktop and info security support services to a wide range of clients.

[tags]Security, software updates, how to, ask the Geek, Ken Harthun, security maxim[/tags]