Sept. 27 story on problems caused Windows Update’s stealth installs was widely circulated other news sites.
In the wake of the media coverage and user complaints, Microsoft quickly cobbled together a response that confirms the problem and provides a manual fix.
Reports of Microsoft’s silent updates published on
20 Windows Secrets raised security questions for many readers.
But with a little bit of know-how, you can keep risks to a minimum when getting updates using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
The Sept. 13 issue of Windows Secrets reported that Windows Update sometimes installs files without notice, even if auto-install has supposedly been disabled.
Many readers are dismayed to learn that their control over their computers is compromised and are asking how they can prevent this in the future.
issue, I pointed out that the
Secunia Software Inspector
may find multiple versions of unpatched products on your
Older programs and Web sites may need the older versions of run-time
software. But the old run-time code represents a security risk.
In recent columns, including in the
issue, I’ve told you how to limit user and application permissions in XP
for greater security.
Our readers have responded with their own questions and suggestions
on running programs with greater or fewer privileges.
I explained how to use XP without administrator rights to simulate the safety
offered Vista’s User Account Control.
Readers responded with their own tools and tricks to stop programs from
gaining full (and therefore risky) access to your system.
I pointed out in our
issue some programs that encrypt hard-disk partitions — a
feature of the more-expensive Ultimate and Enterprise versions
of Windows Vista.
But these days, you may want protection for more than just hard disks,
such as Flash drives.
Last week, I listed several products for bringing XP up to par with
Vista, both functionally and visually.
Readers responded with their own favorite utilities and improvements
to give XP more of Vista’s sizzle.
My lead story in the
newsletter explained how you can get Vista Ultimate features in
Windows XP or versions of Vista that aren’t as expensive as
Several readers have written in with even more ways to save money
and get useful add-on programs that are free or inexpensive.