A note of caution for the holiday season

Graham Cluley

Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones unwrapping a snazzy new PC or laptop under the Christmas tree next week. If so, here’s a note of caution.

Many PCs sold on the high street come with software which was produced many months before, so their security patches can be out of date. What are the chances, for instance, that the PC you bought from a chain store this week has the emergency Internet Explorer patch that Microsoft released on Wednesday?

Similarly anti-virus software, often bundled with a home computer, is unlikely to provide out-of-the-box protection for recent viruses. 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.

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…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.