Microsoft Adds Security Option

Microsoft's Personal Security Advisor certainly can't replace a well-designed set of group policies and a strong initial Windows and Office installation, but the free Web-based app can give you a quick-and-dirty security audit in just a few seconds

Microsofts Personal Security Advisor certainly cant replace a well-designed set of group policies and a strong initial Windows and Office installation, but the free Web-based app can give you a quick-and-dirty security audit in just a few seconds. Personal Security Advisor also cant scan multiple machines at once, but its a good security program for a home network or small business.

Personal Security Advisor, released last month, can scan any computer running Windows NT 4.0 Workstation or Windows 2000 Professional for security weaknesses. The program checks for weak passwords, extra accounts with administrator privileges, Office macro virus protection settings, Internet Explorer security settings, log-in and log-off auditing settings, and a few other things.

After scanning your system, the program directs the user to a diagnostic Web page that explains what problems the program found.

Something Personal Security Advisor doesnt check for but should is installed service packs or security patches. More importantly, Microsoft should add support for scanning Windows 9x systems, where the most egregious security problems are found. To run the security checker, visit www.microsoft.com/technet/mpsa and click on the Scan Now button.