Why you should regularly update all of your software
Hackers are increasingly testing popular software applications for security holes, which cybercrooks can use to take control of your PC. It is vital to use a firewall and keep anti-virus and anti-spyware programs up to date. But so is making sure you install all security updates as soon as they are available. Vulnerabilities for which patches have been issued since January 2005 include:
Applications affected
Number of security patches
Apple Mac OS-X operating system, Safari browser, iChat instant messaging, iTunes and QuickTime media players. Users of Mac OS-X, the latest operating system, get security updates automatically. Users of iTunes and QuickTime on Windows PCs must heed prompts to install new versions of the applications. Such prompts do not spell out when securitypatches are included.
Microsoft Windows operating system, Internet Explorer browser, Windows Media Player, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Most Windows users get clearly designated security updates installed automatically. New patches are generally issued on the second Tuesday of each month.
Mozilla Firefox browser. Most Firefox users get feature upgrades and security patches automatically updated.
Adobe Acrobat document reader, Macromedia Flash Web-authoring tool, Dreamweaver development tool. Adobe tries to issue patches on a monthly basis. A majority of customers opt to use an automatic update service.
Sources: Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Adobe