One Stop Shopping to Find Out If Your Vulnerable Applications are Up-To-Date

By Doug Hayman, DO-IT Staff

Photo of DO-IT Scholar Cody Hinkley using a laptop computer in his wheelchair
DO-IT Scholars use their computers daily for school, work, and networking. Keeping computers free of viruses prevents thrm from crashing when the Scholar needs it most.

Wouldn't it be great if there was an application that would scan your Windows computer to see which versions of your software were most vulnerable to attack? And what if that software allowed you to then update programs that were a few versions behind the most current one?

I asked about such software recently after attending a computer security talk on campus and was introduced to a tool called Secunia Personal Security Inspector (PSI). This is a free download for personal use available at

Once installed, you can run the program and choose to "scan now." It takes a few moments. Once your system has been scanned you'll be presented with a window containing, in most cases, a lower area of icons for your up-to-date applications. Up above, you'll see icons representing applications in need of a software update to lower the risk of a security intrusion.

In that upper panel, you can click on an outdated application and it will either update behind the scenes then drop that icon into the lower panel of up-to-date applications, or it will launch that application's updater tool to let you complete the update manually.

This is a great addition to those tools DO-IT Scholars learn about during their Phase I Summer Session experience to keep their machines free of malware and viruses.

DO-IT NEWS, January, 2014, Volume 22, Number 1