Personal advice on security

A nifty tool that advises users on security updates.

 

Personal advice on security
Adesh Rampat

Microsoft products are obviously very popular, but Microsoft isn't, necessarily. The combination means users are constantly exposed to threats presented by hackers, and those threats can affect the security of their data.

You can update users because these updates are readily available from Microsoft's Web site. This will work great for local users, but what about remote users? How can such users know if their Microsoft Operating System has all the necessary security patches applied?

Microsoft's Personal Security Advisor is a nice tool that can be used to test for vulnerabilities on standalone workstations. 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 (most desktops should have a personal firewall installed if they're not behind your corporate firewall), 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.

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 February 2002

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