New PCs should be checked for updates this Christmas

New computer owners have been warned to be wary of software this Christmas.

 

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, offered a word of caution over software that may not be up-to-date.

 

Cluley claimed that many PCs sold on the high street come with software which was produced many months before, so the security patches can be out of date. Following the recent incident regarding the emergency Internet Explorer patch, he asked what were the chances were that the installed software is unpatched?

 

Cluley said: “There's an assumption that a computer straight off the shelf will be ready to go, but the reality is that you will often be spending much of Christmas afternoon downloading many megabytes of security patches for your brand-new PC.

 

“The first job after unwrapping a computer - whether it runs Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, should be to make sure that the system is properly protected - applying appropriate patches, installing a personal firewall and updating anti-virus software.”

 

He also warned on anti-virus software, which could be unlikely to provide out-of-the-box protection for recent viruses. Cluley said: “With tens of thousands of new malicious samples being seen by our labs every single day, protection that is just a couple of months old could seriously compromise computer security.”

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