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Easily Verify Your Computer is Patched and Secured

As Beyonce once said, you need to keep your computers constantly patched [1]. This is especially important for people who self-administer their own computers or use personal computers for some of their work at home.

Qualys, a well-respected security company, offers a free tool to make that easier called BrowserCheck. It is a browser plugin (we’ve found it works best with Firefox) that checks all of your browsers and plugins, and in advanced mode also does some basic system update checks, to let you know what is vulnerable. It doesn’t have as wide an inventory of known software as the Secunia PSI tool we’ve recommended in the past, but unlike that tool, Qualys BrowserCheck works on multiple operating systems (Windows / Mac / Linux) and follows the 80/20 principle in that what it does check for accounts for the majority of client-side exploits these days.

Depending on your operating system, it will check for browser patches (Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari), commonly exploited browser plugins (Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Apple Quicktime, Java JRE, Silverlight, Media Player), whether you have a firewall and anti-virus enabled, full disk encryption, Windows/Mac OS updates, MS Office, iTunes, etc.

You can get started with the tool here: https://browsercheck.qualys.com/

For more about keeping your computer up to date: https://security.uci.edu/secure-computer/update.html

Josh Drummond

[1] She might not have said that.

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