Saturday, August 19, 2006

When Do You Update?

A regularly maintained garden provides a brilliant show year round. Gardeners have charts available for when to fertilize, how short the grass should be clipped, how to trim the shrubs, which plants do best in the the sun and what selections are better for a shade garden.

To maintain your computer, you need to keep the security software updated.
How do you know when it is time to update the security software programs on your computer? Is this a daily, weekly or rather an . . . oops. . . project? Unlike gardens, there are no charts, graphs or the like for this task. I have a work-around though.

I happen to frequent many of the online security forums where updates are posted on the popular security software programs. Helping at the security forums happens to be my hobby, but most likely is not something everyone else does regularly. There is a solution for avoiding the "oops" problem for those who do not frequent the forums on a regular basis. First, register at one of the sites that maintains a security update forum. (Rest assured, no personal information is needed -- just an email address and a "user name".) Next, locate the software update forum. Scroll down the page to the update information for the software on your computer and "subscribe" to the thread. Repeat for each software you need to remember to update.

Subscribing is easy.
Some time ago, I prepared instructions for subscribing to the updates at LandzDown Forum, a computer help site using SMF software. Rather than repeat the instructions here, see the illustrated instructions at "Stay Current -- Subscribe to the Update Topics for your system software!"

IPB is a popular forum software. Subscribing with IPB is about the same as with SMF. Click the "Options" button at the top of the thread for each software you want to receive an update notification for and then and select "Track this topic":

You will be redirected to your profile where you can elect your preferred notification method as illustrated here:

Please choose your notification method.
Forum subscriptions will notify when new topics have been made and topic subscriptions notify when a reply has been made.
No Email Notification
This option will not send out any email notification but will retain the topic or forum in your subscriptions panel.
Delayed Emailed Notification
This option will send out a notification if a new topic or reply has been made and you're not active on the board.
Immediate Email Notification
This option will send out a notification immediately after a new topic or reply has been made regardless of your activity.
Daily Email Digest
This option will send out a daily digest showing all new replies or topics for that day
Weekly Email Digest
This option will send out a weekly digest showing all new replies or topics for that week

Subscribing to other forum software is similar to IPB. With phpBB, look for the link at the bottom of the page to "Watch this topic for replies". To unsubscribe, return to the thread and click "Stop watching this topic".

When an update is posted to the topics you are subscribed to, you will receive an email notification. Following the link in the email to read about the updated information.

Another option, other than manually checking each software for updates, is to review the listings at Calendar of Updates. You can select multiple views, including A to Z View, Month View, or Week View. While you're at "COU", check out the site. It is jam-packed with information!

Staying up to date is easy if you take a few minutes to organze. So, no more "oops"! If you are not a member of a security forum, try an ASAP Member site.

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