Adobe Reader update fails, ruins setup
| || By Fred Langa |
Adobe’s offerings can present more than their fair share of installation issues.
But there are plenty of options for repairing, reinstalling, or replacing problematic software.
Reader Thomas Keating ran into an extreme example of the problems that can happen in trying to keep Adobe Reader up-to-date.
- “I recently received notification of an Adobe Reader update (version 9. something). I attempted — unsuccessfully — to download and install it. When this happened three times, I went to the help page. It suggested uninstalling Adobe reader and reinstalling it. I uninstalled it and then tried to reinstall Adobe 10.
“It downloads but won’t install. It says, ‘Windows installer not found.’ I tried disabling my firewall — no luck. I tried System Restore, and it took me back three days — and it uninstalled Windows 7 SP1.
“Can you help me?”
Adobe’s updates can be a royal pain. For starters, they’re really multipart updates, although it isn’t obvious. When the main Adobe Reader files need to be updated, Reader/Acrobat browser add-ons or plug-ins often need to be updated, too. Many times, I’ve found that a full Reader update cycle involves three separate downloads and installations: one for the main files, one for Internet Explorer, and one for Firefox. Grrr.
That’s an annoyance, but all too often there can be more serious installation problems — such as yours, Thomas.
Somebody is out to get you and your data
| || By Susan Bradley |
Common sense prevents us from leaving our wallets or purses out where anyone could pilfer them, yet we’re not so careful when sending sensitive information by e-mail or other digital methods.
Keeping your important personal data and documents secure when they’re on the move requires a few extra — but necessary — steps if you want to protect your finances.
Have you ever received an e-mail message from your bank or other financial institution asking you to provide your password, social security number, tax ID, or other identification? If so, the chances are excellent it was someone trying to make you the next victim of identity theft. And it’s not just solicitations by e-mail: instant messages, social-networking sites, faxes, snail mail, and almost all other forms of communication short of carrier pigeon might be an attempt to steal your personal data.
Add the revelations of security breaches at companies who already possess our personal info, and we’d be best off never sending critical data over the Internet. Unfortunately, that’s not practical in this digital age. For example, I work in the accounting business; almost all of the personal information we handle is confidential. And while we follow strict security policies within our office, I am constantly surprised by how insecurely others, including fellow accountants and attorneys, handle their sensitive information.
Basic steps for securely moving sensitive data
From e-mails to conversations over the phone, here are some key rules to follow:
1 – If asked, don’t give. It’s astounding how many people hand over their passwords to any caller who simply asks. The caller might say she’s from the company IT department and the company needs to update your system. Or the caller might tell you he works at your bank, there’s been a computer failure, and he needs to confirm your password.
Anytime someone calls, e-mails, or otherwise requests your full name, address, and account information, it’s almost assuredly a scam. The companies you work with regularly already have that information. At most, legitimate businesses might ask for your ZIP code or the last few digits of your tax ID number — bits of information that are effectively useless to an identity thief.
| || By Susan Bradley |
It seems like every other month is an especially large Patch Tuesday, but this week’s is the largest we’ve ever had.
The flood of patches — including fixes for Internet Explorer — leaves no room for the update chart in the newsletter; you’ll find it in the Windows Secrets Lounge via the link at the bottom of this story.
MS11-018 (2497640), MS11-019 (2511455), MS11-020 (2508429) Start with these three critical updates
Because of the volume of updates this month, I’ve organized them by priority, starting with the three most critical:
one for Internet Explorer (MS11-018; KB 2497640) plus two for Microsoft’s SMB Client (MS11-019; KB 2511455) and SMB Server (MS11-020; KB 2508429).
The update detailed in MS11-018 affects Internet Explorer Versions 6–8 but not IE 9. Even so, I recommend that businesses hold off on IE 9 until I finish testing it. (I’ll report my findings later this month.) In the meantime, Microsoft has already rolled out a preview of IE 10, as announced on an MSDN IEBlog page.
These IE patches were no surprise: they fix flaws revealed at the Pwn2Own hacking contest held during the recent CanSecWest Security conference. As noted in a Microsoft SRD blog, it took three blended vulnerabilities to attack a fully patched IE 8 machine. However, more IE 8 patches are in store, according to the blog — there are more vulnerabilities that Microsoft is still testing that do not pose a direct threat.
The patch also includes five nonsecurity fixes, including one for an IE 8 flaw that causes the browser to flicker on some computers with hybrid graphics.