Beyond antivirus software: Eclectic PC security tools for system-wide audits

Are you doing everything necessary to keep your PC safe? These utilities can fill in the gaps left by traditional antivirus software.

By , PC World |  Security, antivirus

Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI)

Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a free program that scans your PC for security vulnerabilities, like missing updates that hackers and malware authors can exploit to infect or hack into your PC. If PSI finds a vulnerability, it will try to automatically download and install any relevant updates. Otherwise, it helps you manually fix the issue.

After you download and install Secunia PSI, it will scan your system and notify you via its system tray icon if other programs require a manual update. You can open the program to find your Secunia System Score, a list of any programs that need to be updated, and a list of any software that it found to be up-to-date.

Password Security Scanner

Password Security Scanner is a free utility that scans for passwords stored by Windows applications and Web browsers, and tells you how strong they are. This gives you a chance to identify weak passwords, and change them to something more secure. Although you cant see the actual passwords, you can see the username and which site or service they belong to.

The Password Security Scanner runs on Windows, and it will scan passwords stored by Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, and MSN/Windows Messenger, as well as your dial-up and VPN passwords.

After you download and install the utility, it will automatically scan and display additional details about your passwords, including their length, the types of characters used, and overall password strength. If you need help building better passwords, have a look at Alex Wawros primer on the topic.

ShieldsUp

ShieldsUp is a free, Web-based port scanner that tests your Internet connection for possible security holes, such as incorrect firewall settings. Although the testing regimen and reporting  might be a bit over the head of average computer users, the ShieldsUP site provides a wealth of background information about firewalls and port scanning.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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