One of the most well known programs which can update your potentially vulnerable third party applications automatically is Secunia. During the install you will be asked if you want to let the program apply the updates it finds automatically, and after a scan (which may take several seconds) the main window will pop up which is is split into two halves, the top for software needing to be updated, and the bottom for programs that are up to date. There will be a System Score at the top to give an idea of how secure Secunia thinks the system is based on the outdated programs you have installed.
The programs that need updating are not merely those that might have a a few bug fixes or new feature in an updated version, but applications that have been identified as having a security vulnerabilities and an update is needed fix them. Right clicking on one of those applications and selecting “More Information” will take you to Secunia’s website where you can read the report on why the program has been marked as insecure. Using the Detailed view in settings will also show a bar for each application of how critical it is to run the update.
Some software is multilingual and might need you to select a language before updating, but if you choose to let Secunia auto update, it will start applying the new versions. If you want to be notified before or after an updated download, the Click to Update button just needs pressing to start the update process for that title.
The release of version 3 of Secunia PSI has been quite controversial because many of the more advanced features found in the previous version 2 have been simplified or completely removed. This release is now far more user friendly and a lot simpler to operate for the average or inexperienced person but is at the expense of the more experienced users requirements of more control over the program. If you love version 2, you can continue to use it as Secunia say they have no plans to discontinue support.
Compatible with Windows XP SP 3, Vista SP 1 or later and Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)
Download Secunia PSI v3
Download Secunia PSI v2
There is also an online inspector version which is more basic and covers less than 100 programs, but is useful if you just need to perform a quick check without wanting to install any software.
Visit Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI)