Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

No, You Were Not Hallucinating…

Nor did you have a power failure during the night.

I received several calls, at unfortunately hours, this morning from concerned clients. With very few exceptions, this proved to be “much ado about nothing”, as they were simply caught off guard (and alarmed) by finding their computers off when they awoke, when they left them running overnight.
(One had a spreadsheet open, and hadn’t Save-ed in a while.. ahem.)

Here’s why: Microsoft releases emergency patch for Windows flaw. This update takes a while to install, requires a reboot, and doesn’t always go smoothly.
(Microsoft provide tech support for all security-related issues for free, just call 1-866-PC-SAFETY. [includes Updates])

As you may have noticed, this “out of cycle” release of Updates is becoming a consistent and persistent occurrence, which prompted me to write What’s With All These Updates?!*

The fact is, “updates” are really ‘patches’ that plug holes in programming that Evil Doer’s can/do use to plant code on target machines (guess who’s a target? Yes! Your machine!) such as keystroke recorders or mailer bots.
The more attacks, the more patches. Do the math.

Patches (aka “updates”) are good, and you want them.

Today’s free link: Keeping your programs patched and up-to-date is the most effective method we have of keeping the “hackers” at bay. The best tool I have found for evaluating your currently installed programs, and helping you get them patched, is a ‘scan’ I have posted here before, but the Software Inspector at Secunia is just too important, too good, and too easy not to mention again.
You not only want to do that now, you want to visit regularly.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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August 3, 2010 - Posted by | computers, cyber crime, Internet, Microsoft, security | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. For me, Windows is one such big liability when it comes to security, yet it has become a part and parcel of our life.. More than half of the pc users use windows..
    I don’t know why people are reluctant to keep on top of updates or to move to other more secure (at least, for now) alternatives like Linux, Ubuntu.. Daily-use applications are there for them too…

    Like

    Comment by Ranjan | August 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      Wow. There are so many ways I could respond to this.

      I am rather aware of the evolution of both PC’s, (and the Internet) as I was already out of High School when real desktop PC’s became available, and then became affordable enough that they started appearing in people’s homes, and cybercrime. (A good part of my RL job is helping victims of it.)

      All my machines are Windows; and that’s not because I cannot afford Apple nor ignorant of Open Source.

      The disease that is making computers and the Internet an unsafe place to be is not headquartered in Redmond, Wa.

      And TCP/IP is not what you build a secure communication system with. It’s what you build a reliable communication system with.

      … as for why people can’t/don’t/won’t keep up with updates … well, it’s a hassle, and they are busy.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 3, 2010 | Reply


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