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I have a concern about some of the Microsoft updates ... not the ones that I get downloaded automatically - the other ones that refer to various security leaks in MS products when you are using Windows XP.

 

My machine has all of the MS hot fixes.

 

Besides my daily virus checks, I run a Trend Micro every so often. It comes up with suggestions for Microsoft frailties where a hacker could take over my templates or my Excel program etc., etc., and so forth.

 

Well, when I read all the instructions that are attached to these various downloads ... it just confuses the heck out of me! Do this! Don't do this until you've done this ... and if you've done this, well you should have done that first ... and on and on go the instructions, to the point that I'm totally confused by the time I've finished trying to absorb them ... so I don't download any of them. :)

 

When are my programs actually vulnerable to a hacker? I rarely even use most of my Microsoft programs like Excel and Office. If I could dump all of their programs and install something simple I would.

 

What alternative word processing programs could I use that would still open my MS docs without altering them? I tried Office Org for awhile and I didn't like it.

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Unless you open a Word document or spreadsheet that someone sent you in email you should not need be concerned with hacking (my opinion).

 

I'm sure there are ways a hacker could try to execute something over the web that could make you vulnerable but not likely of you are careful.

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Those things are more likely to enter the computer via my husband's emails. I gather none of my security systems would protect against "whatever" may be lurking in those documents.

 

Do you download everything that Microsoft alerts on ... other than the automatic updates?

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When are my programs actually vulnerable to a hacker? I rarely even use most of my Microsoft programs like Excel and Office. If I could dump all of their programs and install something simple I would.

While it may not be more secure, have you tried OpenOffice?

 

Do you download everything that Microsoft alerts on ... other than the automatic updates?

Usually no since windows update should scan your system and install all updatesthat applies to your specific computer.

However, you should update any program in your computer as soon there is an update available for that program.

Just because Windows update finds/have no updates, it does not necessarily mean your computer are secure unless you only run Microsoft programs, which I think most people are not.

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Do you download everything that Microsoft alerts on ... other than the automatic updates?

Not unless I use the program it alerts on.

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Have you been to the MS "Office Update" page and made sure you have all the updates available for your Office programs?

 

ht_p://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?assetid=ES790020331033&CTT=96&Origin=CL100570421033

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And for the Microsoft OFFICE suites, if you go into the preferences/settings you can set them to warn and approve if a macro is built into the document or instead of warn, just not allow ANY macros to run in those documents. This is the BEST setting if you are not a macro user.

 

Standing rule at the office...DO NOT OPEN word or office documents unless you know the source and expecting it, and set all machines to warn for automated functions. Macros (automated functions that can be recorded and played back when needed) are FABULOUS and I would be lost without them. I build many complicated macros in my Excel and Word documents for the office use. But in the wrong hands, that fabulous tool can become really nasty.

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Have you been to the MS "Office Update" page and made sure you have all the updates available for your Office programs?

 

ht_p://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?assetid=ES790020331033&CTT=96&Origin=CL100570421033

Yes. That's where I got brain freeze.

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And for the Microsoft OFFICE suites, if you go into the preferences/settings you can set them to warn and approve if a macro is built into the document or instead of warn, just not allow ANY macros to run in those documents. This is the BEST setting if you are not a macro user.

 

Standing rule at the office...DO NOT OPEN word or office documents unless you know the source and expecting it, and set all machines to warn for automated functions. Macros (automated functions that can be recorded and played back when needed) are FABULOUS and I would be lost without them. I build many complicated macros in my Excel and Word documents for the office use. But in the wrong hands, that fabulous tool can become really nasty.

Hi Sam! Ya, I'm pretty savvy about that sort of thing. I used to use macros but I wont be using them anymore. Where exactly is the preference/setting you are referring to?

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While it may not be more secure, have you tried OpenOffice?

 

Yes, I used OpenOffice for awhile. I didn't like it. I went back to MS.

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If you are running one of the latest versions of MS Office and it´s a genuine version (ie no piracy copy), you can have Windows update tell you about office updates too.

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that first ... and on and on go the instructions, to the point that I'm totally confused by the time I've finished trying to absorb them ... so I don't download any of them.

 

Bad choice, if you haven't already, download and install them.

 

When are my programs actually vulnerable to a hacker?

Hard question to give a difinitive answer, but the easy answer is whenever your computer is turned on :)

 

What alternative word processing programs could I use that would still open my MS docs without altering them?

Microsoft makes several "viewer" programs for its major applications which allow you to just read the files and not allow you to change or modify them.

 

Word:

h_tp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=95e24c87-8732-48d5-8689-ab826e7b8fdf&DisplayLang=en

Excel:

h_tp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c8378bf4-996c-4569-b547-75edbd03aaf0&DisplayLang=en

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Okay ... I went back and spent about an hour updating my Microsoft Office. A gazillion files and service packs. Finally found a page of instructions that I could relate to.

 

Thanks!

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