It’s been a couple of days since the install of Secunia’s great program, Personal Software Inspector was updated on my machines. I hesitated a bit with this release because it features the ability to update things automatically on the user’s system, much the same way Microsoft’s Windows Update works.
The older versions would point to the updates, and ask if you wanted them installed, but each update was done manually. Also, there was no way of giving a “thumbs up” to the program to enable the update of several programs you have decided the Inspector is capable of doing in succession. Now that capability is available, and after some trepidation on my laptop, I can say it works well on Windows 7 and on Windows XP. It has not been updated on my son’s machine running Vista, but I see no reason why it would not work well there, as I have never had a problem with PSI on any machine (that machine is running the version previous, with not a problem ever noted) .
The PSI interface is changed considerably, and in my opinion, looks much nicer, less busy, and therefore easier to understand for anyone not long familiar with what exactly it does. There is help on most things, and a large section of the leftmost area on the screen concerning the auto-update feature.
After clicking on a green button that has AUTO in bold on it, a reveal is made with links to the Secunia support forum, which this version exhorts you to join when you install the program. Since I have used an e-mail address in the past which gets few e-mails, it was easy to see if I was going to get any spam from earlier sign up, around version 1.04, I believe. None has been delivered, and so users need not be concerned about that when signing up.
Then there are links for the Secunia PSI manual, in PDF form in case you wish to download it, or there for reading online if you desire. There are links to the explanation of the APIs for PSI, and also the Secunia Privacy Statement.
Under the configuration menu, there are choices to start the PSI at boot time, which is fine if you keep your system up-to-date, but, if for any reason you keep a number of things on your system that are not updated, according to the Secunia database, you might wish to disable the boot time start. (It takes the time at each start to check for updates, which is going to slow boot time somewhat. If nearly everything is updated, there is little time wasted.) Another handy thing is that it is possible to create a logfile of the changes made by PSI – always a good thing to have when something goes awry.
There are many little features available to the user, most of which will do nothing to keep the PC safer, but allow the monitoring of the path to safety as the machine gets used over time.
This is a program that does exactly what it is purported to do – it keeps the users system up to date, free of things that can be exploited, and will do it with or without user intervention.