Patch patch patch
Why it is generally considered good practice to get into the habit of patching your software.
Software patching - updating your installed software
Software can become out of date really fast and it sometimes seems like it was only yesterday that something on your PC was telling you that a new update was available.
It is worth getting into the habit of keeping your software updated for security reasons. Malicious computer users rely on the fact that most people do not keep their own system patched and up-to-date as it allows them to use software bugs and flaws in older unpatched software to infect your computer or to gain access.
You see, there are a great many computer criminals out there spending a lot of time looking for ways into our PCs, and the more software we install the more likely they are to find a way in. It could be through a bug in a computer game or word processing software, the driver for an external device, or maybe a media player. The possibilities are endless.
Keeping your system patched and updated need not be hard. Set yourself a monthly reminder to check for updates and then when that time arrives start each piece of software one at a time, search for updates and then apply any new updates that are found. You will benefit not only from a more secure PC but also from receiving any new features and bug fixes.
Also, don't forget to update the Operating System. Be it Windows, Linux, Mac or another operating system, there will be a way to configure it to look for updates itself and either install them automatically or ask you what you want to do if it discovers that new updates are available.
To make life easier for Windows users there is some free software available from Secunia called PSI ( click this link to go their site ) which looks for outdated and unpatched software on your PC and then tells you how to resolve any issues found.
Getting into the habit of patching your PC is good practice as it gives you additional peace of mind that your system is running the latest version of your favourite software, reducing the possible ways that a computer criminal or malicious software can get into your PC.
One last note: Don't forget to make sure that you have a software firewall, anti-virus tool and anti-spyware tool installed and up-to-date on your PC.
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Article date: 24th January 2011