Updates Beat Security Programs

google-logoAccording to security experts polled in a recent Google Study, the two best ways to stay safe online are to keep your operating system and applications patched by running updates when prompted, and by using a password management tool, such as LastPass.  32% of security professionals said that running updates was the most important and effective security practice.

Unfortunately, in the same poll, when average users were asked the best ways to stay safe online, they answered at running anti-malware software, deleting cookies, a periodically changing passwords.  While these activities are good to engage in, they are not the most effective.  Anti-virus and anti-malware Internet security programs are not perfect.  And in my own practice I meet so many individuals who have cookies turned off on their browsers and don’t understand that some websites won’t work without them.

So basically, you want to be sure that Windows Updates are set to install automatically.  You can check this in the Control Panel.  Other software updates that you want to run are updates for Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash.  These, too can be set to run automatically, just open the respective programs and go to Help, Check for updates.  Java is another program that needs to be updated when prompted.

Unfortunately, the Adobe and Java updates will sponsor hitchhiker programs, such as Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, McAfee Security Plus, or Yahoo Toolbar.  Uncheck the box to stay free of these unnecessary programs.  Also be sure you are downloading updates from the manufacturer’s website, not from some downloader site.

Stay safe.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at Computer Integration Technologies, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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