F-Secure data indicates that what is making computers most vulnerable to exploits are unpatched or out-of-date versions of the most widely-used software for PCs. Between 80-90% of users have security holes in their systems with on average 5 different vulnerabilities in the software on their computers. Users don’t remove the old versions of their programs and the vulnerabilities in them can leave the computer wide open to malware or malicious software.
Trojans are a typical example of the kinds programs which take advantage of vulnerabilities. They are malicious applications which appear to do one thing but actually do another, giving the criminal access to your computer.
In addition to the other programs on your computer, Web browsers can also be vulnerable to exploits. Sometimes these vulnerabilities are used by criminals before an update is available from the manufacturer.
F-Secure Exploit Shield is a free beta tool that recognizes attempts to exploit a known web-based vulnerability and shields the user against them. It also works against new, unknown vulnerability exploits by using generic detection techniques based on the behavior of exploits.
When giving your computer a spring cleaning, make sure:
- Your software is updated with the latest patches
- You only have programs you use installed on your computer
- You remove old versions or unused software
- Your security solution is up-to-date.