For a Windows user, the first order of business, at least for me, is usually security. Securing your computer means installing security software like a firewall, anti-virus, or spyware removal. It also means checking Windows updates and keeping your own installed software up to date. Updating your own software has always been a manual process or automating on a software-by-software basis. Depending on how many applications you run and what you use them for, this can be a fairly tedious process.
Thankfully, the days of manual software updates may very well be over thanks to efforts by a security firm called Secunia. Secunia has developed a great piece of software for Windows users called the Personal Software Inspector (PSI). They also offer the Network Software Inspector (NSI) for commercial users.
PSI is a free software application that indexes your currently installed programs and applications and checks for known vulnerabilities. So how is this helpful? Well, Windows Updates will check for applicable updates for your operating system, furthermore Microsoft Updates will update all of your Microsoft products. That leaves all of your other software up to you to keep track of security issues and vulnerabilities. If you’re like me, this is a lot of software and it’s not fun to keep track of. This is where PSI comes in.
This piece of software, by default, runs in the background to constantly monitor new applications and new updates. It is very light in system resources for what it does and you can turn off the background process. When you run the application, you are greeted with a friendly interface that updates you on the status of your system with charts that detail the total amount of programs you have installed, how many are insecure, how many are patched, and how many are no longer supported, or “end-of-life”. Tabs are provided to separate the insecure programs from the end-of-life and patched, or secure programs. The program gives you direct access to downloads, details about the program, and an option to re-scan the program in the event you fixed it yourself.
With the help of this program, anti-malware programs, Windows Updates, and safe practices you should be one step closer to an all around safer and better computing experience.
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