Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Update your security

I was about to recommend that all you Americans who are taking time of work/school for Thanksgiving go to http://www.microsoft.com/protect and update your copies of Windows to fix any security issues, and to learn how to protect your PC from hackers and viruses. And then it dawned on me – my parents’ machine hasn’t been updated recently either.
A closer look defines ‘recently’ as… errr… May 2002 – almost 18 months ago. The machine does have a relatively recent copy of ZoneAlarm running, so annoyances like Blaster were unable to penetrate but there were still plenty of holes left unpatched on the system, which didn’t even have Windows XP Service Pack 1 installed.
So, as you can imagine, I’m in the process of getting my parents up to speed and making sure their computer is safe and secure. I’m home for the weekend since it’s my mum’s birthday this week, so by the time I head back to Bradford on Sunday its defenses should be in better shape. It could also do with a defrag at some point – I took all my junk stuff off it some months ago but never defragmented the drive afterwards, and so I have a feeling the disk will be in a rather poor state. There’s also quite a bit of clearing to do – I deleted 20MB of temporay files plus at least 20MB of downloaded programs that are either obsolete, duplicated or unwanted. It’s probably best that I do that first, and then defrag afterwards.

2 Comments

  1. From my experience with 2k and XP, you need to run defrag about 10 times before it is decent.

  2. Security: Help out a family member

    I was about to recommend that all you Americans who are taking time of work/school for Thanksgiving go to http://www.microsoft.com/protect and update your copies of Windows to fix any security issues, and to learn how to protect your PC…