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New Viruses And Patches

Bigwig notes the laundry list of new viruses that appear today. Update your virus definitions promptly and pay a visit to Windows Update for good measure. It used to be that a weekly LiveUpdate for Norton was sufficient, but now twice a week or even daily is a much better option.

As far as Windows patches go, regardless of whether you have high speed or dial-up Internet access you ABSOLUTELY NEED to be using the Windows Automatic Update feature. If you've never heard of this feature you're probably not set to use it. Automatic Update offers automated downloads (and optionally installation) of critical security patches for Windows and Internet Explorer.

The Automatic Update feature can be accessed on Windows XP systems by right clicking on My Computer, clicking Properties, the clicking on the Automatic Updates tab. If you do not have a desktop My Computer icon use the System option under the Performance Maintenance category in the Windows Control Panel.

If you have dial-up access change the settings to notify you of new critical updates, but not to automatically download them. You will be prompted when new critical patches are available. If you have high speed access choose to either automatically download or automatically download and install.

Anyone who got hit by the Blaster worm should now know that they would have have avoided infection had they been using the Automatic Update option as a patch for the RPC vulnerability was available. Microsoft is actually considering making the service settings default to on in future versions of Windows. This idea is getting generally good reviews even by the harshest Microsoft critics.

On a side note, a quick look into my blogroll indicated I still had the Hraka listed at the old BlogSpot address. Pathetic blogroll maintenance on my part, as they are a daily read. Switching to reading blogs primarily via RSS reader has had a negative impact on my blogroll maintenance. If I could easily integrate my newsreaders RSS feed list and my Blogrolling.com blogroll that would solve a lot of maintenance problems.


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Comments (3)

Wonderful tips, Kevin, espe... (Below threshold)

Wonderful tips, Kevin, especially for those who don't know what Windows Update is for. I for one have turned the automatic updates off because it does redundant downloads and notifications, but I check every other morning for new patches.

Just finished decrudding my PC and it's running as smooth as a greased hog too, patches included.

Actually, the best way to a... (Below threshold)

Actually, the best way to avoid all this is to get rid of Windows altogether and use one of the many desktop-friendly versions of Linux (Red Hat or Mandrake, for example). Or buy a Mac.

I run Norton Pro, so it is ... (Below threshold)
Jane:

I run Norton Pro, so it is constantly checking for new updates. I seem to get them daily, lately, as there have been so many viruses and worms.

I turned off the Windows Update because it drove me nuts, but I do go there often to install critical updates.




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