I've written several times in the past about the security company Secunia and the tool that they have created called PSI (Personal Software Inspector). Here is a link from bleepingcomputer.com that helps users how to use PSI. This is a tool that helps the average user to keep up to date with all those 3rd party applications like Adobe, Java, iTunes, Safari, etc. I am testing a newer version of PSI that is in Beta. This new version will have many automated updates to help the average user get through the forest of 3rd party applications. When this beta version is released, I will let you know.
The reason why this is so important is that cyber criminals are exploiting these 3rd party applications to install the malicious software that infects so many people's PCs. Be safe out there.