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  1. #1
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    PC security Golden Rule: patch early, patch often


    PC security Golden Rule: patch early, patch often

    By Robert Vamosi

    We've gotten good at updating our Windows and Office software so good that criminals are looking elsewhere.

    A new report suggests that patching your non-Microsoft applications might be just as important to a secure computing environment as keeping Windows and Office up to date if not more.

    The full text of this column is posted at (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
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    Software updating can be kept reasonably unified by using such tools as KC Softwares SUMo (No-RK version) or Software Informer. Neither should be taken as infallible, but they can be used as good guides to available software updates. Decline any offers of toolbars or search engines during installations of these programs.

    If you are concerned about driver updates, DriverMax Free can be of some help, but if you have a lot of out of date drivers, you will need at least a short-term paid subscription until you reduce the number of drivers needed to not more than two per day.

    I only mention driver updates for those times when a computer is older or seems not to be working well due to driver issues. Or when there are specific warnings about security issues, such as with printers or modems. As with software updaters, I would not let the updater download any drivers. Go directly to the manufacturer's site for the actual driver downloads. And make sure the drivers are for your particular printer, modem or computer, not generic or for some other brand or model. With routers or modems, you should go into the modem/router setup page and upgrade the firmware from there.

    One thing DriverMax does which makes driver updating a bit safer, is that you can perform a driver backup before messing with anything. Do so. Then if anything goes wrong, you can usually restore the previous drivers with one operation.

    And yes, drivers themselves can become insecure over time. Even an out of date BIOS can pose risks. Unless otherwise warned, you should expect to reflash your BIOS every two years or so.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-02-26 at 01:36.
    -- Bob Primak --

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