Patch software with free Secunia PSI

Free, handy security utility Secunia PSI helps you make sure all of your software is up-to-date and securely patched.

One of the biggest security threats out there doesn't come from malicious hackers or online identity thieves. It actually comes from you, the innocent PC user and your out-of-date software. But you can put an end to that threat with the free Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI), which identifies and helps patch the problematic programs you may be running.

Like earlier versions of the app, Secunia PSI scans your computer to identify the software programs you're running, and lets you know whether or not they are up to date. Its interface is friendly enough that it won't intimidate newbies, yet provides enough information about the overall security of your PC to keep more advanced users satisfied. The main Dashboard gives a quick summary of your PC's security, which includes a notification of your overall system score and how it compares to other users. You also can see how your PC's security score has changed in recent weeks and months, and how recently you have applied patches to your system.

To see how secure your individual programs are, you switch to the "Scan Results" view, which lists all of your installed applications and their security status. End-of-Life and Insecure apps appear in a list at the top, and Secunia PSI rates the threat that each one poses, so you can decide how quickly to apply fixes. And applying fixes is a breeze, as you can do so right from within Secunia PSI.

New in version 2.0 of Secunia PSI is an Auto Update feature, which allows you to configure the application to automatically apply updates to your system. This is a nice touch for users who want to make sure that they are running the latest versions of their apps, but hate being prompted to make updates or apply patches. And Secunia PSI will notify you, via messages that pop up from your system tray, when updates have been made, so you don't have to worry about the app making changes you're not aware of. You also can change the app's settings so that it delivers detailed notifications of changes and can set it to create a system log, if you'd like to keep a more detailed record.

Secunia PSI provides a free, easy way to stay on top of an important aspect of your PC's security. If you're looking for a set-it-and-forget-it way to keep your applications up to date, this is the app for you.

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Liane Cassavoy

PC World (US online)
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