Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Update Roundup March 2010

A number of applications have updated recently. If you haven't installed the free FileHippo Update Checker, why not give it a try now?  Here's the link: http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker/

Noteable updates over the last week include Opera, Firefox, Thunderbird, RealPlayer, Yahoo! Messenger, Picasa, Avira Antivirus, Malwarebytes, SUPERAntiSpyware and my favorite, CCleaner.  Click on each for the link to download the installer, or update from within the program, if available.

Microsoft has also released a critical update or two outside the normal schedule of the second Tuesday of the month. Install them when you see the prompt (lower right corner of your screen) or run Microsoft Update and install all the critical updates. Be sure to check the Optional Updates for Office updates and other necessary items.

I've been told by Hewlett Packard Tech Support engineers (HP/Compaq) that they prefer all updates be done through the HP Advisor. You should check HP for hardware driver updates, but Windows and Office updates still need to be done through Microsoft.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Run or Save?

When you download a file from the Internet, you usually get a prompt asking to to Run, Save or Cancel the download. What's the best answer?  

Most of the time, you should choose to save the file to your Desktop or Downloads folder - and make sure you look to see where it's being saved so you can find it. When you save an installer file, or picture or document to your computer before opening it, your antivirus/antispyware program will scan it and let you know if it's infected. Otherwise, if you choose to just Run it from the Internet, you take the chance of setting loose an unwanted piece of malware that's hitching a ride with the file you DO want.

Here's more information from Microsoft on the subject:

I've spent many, many hours lately cleaning up rogue antivirus/antispyware programs that wouldn't have had the chance to run if the user had simply taken an extra minute to save the file before running it. That's not the only way to get a rogue infection, but it's a good one.