Get personal advice on security


Get personal advice on security
Adesh Rampat

We all know that Microsoft has some problems in the security area. The latest example is the just-released patch for Windows XP that plugs a security hole associated with universal Plug 'n Play. The upshot of the security problem is that you're going to be downloading lots of patches. But you need to know whether you're up-to-date, and this tip tells you about a tool that can help.

Due to the popularity of Microsoft products, users are constantly exposed to threats, especially by hackers, that can affect the security of their data. Updates are readily available from Microsoft's Web site to keep your operating system as secure as possible. But how can users know if their Microsoft Operating System has all the necessary security patches applied? A nice tool that can be used to test for vulnerabilities on stand-alone workstations is Microsoft's Personal Security Advisor. This tool can analyze the system and inform the user what vulnerabilities are present and how to fix them.

A few points should be noted:

  • If the user does not have a firewall application installed (many desktops do not have a personal firewall installed, but you might consider installing them, particularly for remote workers with a wideband connection to the Web), a warning will be issued if there is file sharing enabled.

  • Currently, the personal security advisor can only be applied to stand-alone workstations with Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 Professional installed.

  • Ensure that you are logged on as administrator to install any upgrades.

Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

This was first published in January 2002

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