Always Keep Your Computer Up-To-Date

As you are well aware that continuing to patch the software on your computer is just as important as keeping your antivirus program up-to-date and running a decent firewall. However the figures show that a lot of PC users are struggling with the task of keeping all their software up-to-date.

Does everybody update?

Research released in late 2010 revealed that only 5 percent of users are running fully-patched Windows PCs, while more than 40 percent have more than 10 insecure applications installed. This is quite appalling considering the latest online threats we are under on a daily basis.

Another survey showed that more than 20 percent of all applications installed on users computers have known security flaws for which patches have been released by the vendors of the products. That result was based on scans of more than 12.5 million applications on end-user computers.

The measurement of time between the release of security patches and the development of feats targeting the security holes they address has been dropping for some time. Hackers exploit this period of time – the so-called “patch window” – to launch attacks against unpatched machines.

All users of a Windows PC should realise that Microsoft delivers almost all its patches on the second Tuesday of each month, known as “Patch Tuesday”. Back in 2006, Microsoft released 49 critical, 23 important, and 5 moderate updates, while 2007 brought 43 critical, 24 important, and 2 moderate fixes.

So heres how to update

If your software applications have automatic update features, then be sure to switch them on. If you have to download patches manually, then make sure that you do it from the actually Web site of the software merchant and that you didn’t wind up on the download page following a link from an untrusted source.

In certain instances cyber-criminals have tried to bypass malware past users by disguising it as an automatic update to a popular software product. If you are in distrust if an update trying to install itself on your computer is the real deal, it might be a good idea to check first.

There are several helpful tools on the internet designed to inform users when their applications need patching. These periodically check to see if new updates have been issued for several thousand applications.