What is Secunia Personal Software Inspector? It is software that checks your installed applications to make sure you have all the security updates installed. And, it’s free.
Secunia offers both an Online Software Inspector and their installable Personal Software Inspector. The online version checks fewer programs. Both check programs and also check to make sure that all the Microsoft security patches have been installed.
I’ve been using versions of Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector and Online Software Inspector for several years now. First, the original Online Software Inspector (OSI), then Personal Software Inspector 2.0, and now Secunia Personal Software Inspector 3.0.
It keeps getting better and better…
The latest version optionally automates the process of updating those identified as insecure. This option can be activated with a checkmark during the installation process, as below. It can also be set, or un-set, via the Settings button on the program’s home screen.
When you start Secunia Personal Software Inspector the first time, it gives you a warning notice that you need to run a scan.
If you previously had an earlier version installed, as on this computer (my wife’s), it shows a Secunia System Score from the last time the earlier version was run. It also shows when that last scan occurred.
Start the scan with the "Scan now" button.
Now we can see that Secunia Personal Software Inspector 3.0 has found two programs that need to be updated. Since I had set the program to automatically update, you can see that it was already in the process of updating Adobe Air.
Winamp, on the other hand, requires the user to select which language is to be used, so that couldn’t be done completely automatically.
Secunia PSI displayed a link Select language, displayed the language chooser box, allowed the language to be selected, and then proceeded to install the update.
When the updating is complete, we see a checkmark display to tell us that we’re up to date on the security updates.
Notice the last four words of the previous sentence.
Secunia Personal Software Inspector focuses on security patches and security updates. Updates for other reasons will not trigger the program that there are issues to be fixed.
As an example, I installed Notepad++ version 5.8.1 to see what would happen. The current version is 6.1.6. Secunia PSI 3.0 told me that v5.8.1 was up to date. Perhaps it was from the point of view of updates for security reasons. However, I think they ought to use some other wording to indicate such a system, rather than a misleading "Up-to-date."
Note that the screens below are from a different computer, also running Secunia Personal Software Inspector 3.0.
When you click on the History link at the bottom of the program’s window, Secunia PSI will display the history of updates needed, dates, version numbers replaced, new version numbers, and how the update was performed.
The next program screen shows the options that are available when you click on the Settings link at the bottom of the window.
Note that I’ve chosen to start Secunia Personal Software Inspector automatically, to update automatically, and selected that it should check drive E: in addition to drive C:.
The final image shows the scrollable program window after all the updates have been performed.
Secunia Personal Software Inspector 3.0 is easy-to-use, free scanning software that is designed to check popular programs/applications to see if they have have all of their security updates installed.
Version 3.0 includes automatic updating that was not available in earlier versions. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s a good tool for validation and easy updating.