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Everything Up To Date

Everything Up To Date
by Gary Woods

Most of the computer problems of the world could be solved if you people would just keep your software up to date. So how come you folks don't leave Microsoft Update on automatic update? Or at least use the option of asking you whether you want to update or not? All right I know why you don't, but you should at least check in on updates every now and then.

Well if you and Windows don't see eye to eye there is a security firm called Secunia ( that looks for potentially vulnerable applications on your system. It tells you which versions you're currently running and tells you about any vulnerability that exists in your system.

Secunia will work on Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista. It will also work on Sun Java JRE 1.5.0_12 or later, Internet Explorer 6.x/7.x, Opera 9.x or Firefox 2.x. There are 2 versions: a Java applet that runs from Secunia's site, or a Personal Software Inspector (beta) which is a Windows application. The coolest part about the software is that you can tell it to scan in non-default locations.

A scan should take less than 10 minutes and it will look for things like updated versions of AOL Instant Messenger, Adobe Flasher Player, Sun Java JRE, and Macromedia Flash Player. Some of the biggest vulnerabilities for a system are outdated Internet Browsers, Browser Plug-ins, Instant Messaging Clients, Email Clients, Media Players and Operating Systems. So, get checkin' I'm not gonna' tell you again!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc