Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Security Vulnerabilities and Why Updates Are Important!

Security Vulnerabilities and Why Updates Are Important!
by André Thomas

The internet can be a scary place, especially if you have security vulnerabilities in your system.

Whether you are on a smartphone, tablet, netbook, laptop, or desktop, you need to protect yourself while browsing. There are a lot of security programs out there and almost every different tech will recommend a different title; some are definitely better than others. You also need to make sure that there is only one running as they can conflict with each other, with very few exceptions.

Having a Security Program is only half the battle though. Whether it be out of fear of clicking the wrong thing, concern over inadvertently causing errors, not being ready to integrate it into an office environment, or just not noticing them, a lot of updates get missed. A major portion of updates to any device or program address security vulnerabilities; it is important that they are updated regularly. Already this year, we have seen major security alerts and updates on several widely used programs: Java, Adobe Reader,  Flash Player, Joomla! and others.

What are the dangers of not being up-to-date? Security Vulnerabilities (aka as exploits) can lead to a wide variety of problems, up to and including complete access and control of a vulnerable system. This means that if someone knows how to access the weakness, they can do whatever they want to your computer.

There are a lot of things to watch for when it comes to updates. Windows and Mac OS X will notify you of updates, but most often you still need to accept them. Java often requires permission to even run the update check. It can be a lot to keep track of.


Avast! 8 (currently only available for Windows) has a new feature that monitors your installed software for updates, creating an easy place to monitor for updates as well as an interface to directly install them. This is just one of the many reasons we recommend this program. They are currently working on Avast! Free for Mac version 8 as well.