How many times have you been to a website only to find out you don’t have the correct version of Flash or Shockwave, or received a document or file that will not work with the current version of software you have installed?
For Windows you can always turn on Automatic Updates, and with software applications there is often an option to automatically check for updates, but not always, so we are left with researching and manually updating all of these applications. This is not a very efficient way for a busy user to get things done, so today we will take a look at a great utility called Secunia Personal Software Inspector that will help avoid these time wasting annoyances.
Using Secunia PSI
After installing SPSI it will start scanning your system right away for out of date and non secure applications.
When the scan is complete you receive a detailed report of old, patched, or unsecure software residing on your PC. You can use either Simple or Advanced mode and both feature an easy to follow program patch process. This example is the Simple mode for the less tech savvy user.
In Advanced mode much more technical information is provided. Everything is laid out in an easy to read format with charts and graphs to represent different statistics.
So after SPSI finds an out of date or potentially flawed application you will be provided with detailed information indicating why it has been flagged.
Then just below the information report there is different options to gather more information, ignore, or easily fix it. The first option is a direct download solution which links to the most current version.
One caveat is sometimes manual scans can be a bit long but because it takes up few system resources it doesn’t interfere with normal computing.
Secunia Personal Software Inspector is a great utility to have for making sure applications are up to date and secure. By default it will run in the background all the time keeping an eye on your applications. They also offer a free online scan of your PC from their website. This allows you to test it’s ability without having to install anything. This freeware app is definitely a handy utility to have for keeping up to date on your current system or older computers still in use.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 03/3/09