It Is Time You Got Rid of Java
Computer security has never been as important as it is today. And while we’re busy fighting off hackers and malicious code we often forget that it’s something that we’ve already let in, legitimately so, that can actually do the real damage. In this case the king of all loopholes is Java, that doesn’t serve any function which you can’t live without, and can do a whole lot of horrible stuff to your computer when compromised.
What’s the Harm
If not permanently then at least temporarily Java has to go. Only a couple of months ago we heard about several different kinds of browser based exploits that were getting in because of loopholes in Java. This included the notorious Blackhole exploit kit. Of course security fixes were unleashed soon after the problem was spotted, that did not affect the vulnerability that Java brings to the table in the long run, however.
The worst part is that any kind of threat to Java can take cross platform shape. So when Mac users think that they are safe, for instance, they actually aren’t because they use Java too. Many people have raised concerns over Java and the potential harm that it brings to the scene, but people generally are either unaware or simply don’t care about the security issues.
You know things are serious when the government starts issuing warnings as well. The US-CERT also released an alert telling people to disable Java 7 and be wary of Java 6. In many cases if people aren’t regularly using Java then they are told by experts to get rid of it completely. Most people do not run Java critical applications or programs and can get away with deleting it, even then they don’t.
Getting Rid of It
Uninstall it. Do it now. Of course it isn’t that simple for all users. So, if you are not planning on completely deleting Java from your system because you truly do need it, then make sure that it is disabled in all the browsers you frequently use.
Open up the Java control panel for Windows. That should give you a security tab wherein you can enable or disable java content in the browser. Simply uncheck the option for enabling it and that’s it. Super easy stuff and you keep yourself safe from all kinds of malicious software and people.
If you’re using Firefox then check out the Add-ons in the main menu and disable Java wherever you find it. Chrome has similar settings where you can check out plugins and then disable Java. Safari users security preferences contain an option to disable Java as well.
If you aren’t sure if that worked or not head on over to http://java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp and see if you really have managed to fix the problem or if Java is still enabled.
At the end of the day if Java is absolutely necessary to use one can always resort to designating a browser for Java alone and using it for nothing except the work which requires it. Other than that keeping Java around is a super bad idea.
Image credit: Gil C / Shutterstock.com
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