How Do You Keep Your Computer Patched And Up To Date?

According to researchers behind a white paper on computer vulnerabilities the typical Windows user has to patch their computer an average of 75 times a year. Many simply ignore the task. We want to hear how you keep things current.

Photo by Sam Howzit.

Over at the computer-centric blog Computerworld they highlight a security white paper published by the Secunia company:

The typical home user running Windows faces the "unreasonable" task of patching software an average of every five days, a security and vulnerability research company said today.

"It's completely unreasonable to expect users to master so many different patch mechanisms and spend so much time patching," said Thomas Kristensen, the chief security officer of Secunia. The result is that few consumers devote the time and attention necessary to stay atop the patching job, which leaves them open to attack.

Secunia has a free tool called Personal Software Inspector that assists users in determining which portion of their operating system or installed software needs to be patched based on releases from the software vendors — it doesn't however download or install the patches for you. They analysed the data from millions of users and determined the average Windows user needs to patch software every 4.9 days to keep everything completely current. That isn't Windows Updates mind you, but updating all the various applications on their PC.

In light of what a pain it would be to constantly keep on top of updates, we'd love to hear what solutions you're using to make managing updates easier. Sound off in the comments below with your tips, tricks, software tools, and other patch-related wisdom to help your fellow readers stay on top of updates and patches. If you've never considered what a burden keeping your software updated is, nor thought about getting a program to do so, start your research by reading our Hive Five on the topic.

White Paper: The Security Exposure of Software Portfolio (PDF) [Secunia via Computerworld]


    I use SUMo software update checker to make sure my applications are all up to date.

    It is free.

      CNET tracker is pretty good if you can filter out their constant email notifications

    What I would like to know is if there are any good Driver Update checkers out there. These software checkers do not check your drivers and system files.

      Wobble I've recently updated my three computers to win 7, and I found Drivermax to be invaluable (It's free but with DL limitations)It made finding drivers a breeze...

      As for staying on top of patches and updates....have kids, I haven't gone out on a Friday in years, this is now my day for maintenance.

        Thanks man. I installed Drivermax and it looks good. I'm going to go through and check all my PCs with it.

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