Audit Your Computer Security with Secunia Personal Software Inspector

With software exploits coming out of the woodwork all the time it’s probably a safe bet that most people would find it difficult to keep track of what software is out of date and what is vulnerable on their computers. Windows does a fairly good job of looking after itself but other pieces of software (particularly plug-in software like Flash and Shockwave) don’t do nearly as much to keep everyone up to date.

Let’s face it, the odds are against the average person. So what can you do?

There’s a great piece of software from Secunia called Personal Software Inspector. For those that don’t know, Secunia is a security research company located in Denmark which provides numerous services including security related news and advisories. You can get all sorts of great details on the latest security exploits and studies undertaken by the company if you are so inclined.

So, in terms of the Personal Software Inspector, basically it will scan your computer and list all of the vulnerable and superseded software. In “simple mode” it will give you the following:

  • the name of the software,
  • the threat level,
  • a link to the solution (often a link to download the latest software),
  • a link to a discussion page on the problem (if available).

If you are wanting some more details (including the location of the software in question which could help if you run Portable Apps and run the same software locally and off a USB stick) you can always opt for the “advanced mode” which might help you root out some of those problems requiring a little more work to resolve.

It will also give you a score and then compare it against the scores of others in your geographical location. What is also great is as you progressively update the software highlighted by PSI, it will disappear from the list automatically so you don’t have to sit through a whole scan. Secunia also aggregates scores worldwide to gauge geographical trends and aid their research into the penetration of individual exploits. Best of all, PSI will run quietly in the background and let you know when something requires your attention.

Just to give you an idea of how I fared when I ran PSI, I was surprised to find that I had eleven items to fix which was a mix between obsolete and vulnerable software. Of course, I fixed everything up quick smart but it was certainly an eye opener for me.

At the end of the day, I’m keeping PSI on my computer to keep me on my toes and to help keep me informed about what’s going on in my computer.

1 comment

    • Amber on August 18, 2010 at 13:15
    • Reply

    Boyd you are a source of valuable information, I thank you for all your time and effort by sharing the topics that you feel to be useful to so many people. Have a great day Boyd! :o)

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