Thursday, December 22, 2011

Is It Time to Throw That Java Out?

JavaIt seems every time we turn around cybercriminals are uncovering a new vulnerability within Java that allows them to infect our PCs with malware.

Combine that with the fact that many of us fail (or forget) to update Java to patch known vulnerabilities and you can’t help but begin to wonder: is it really worth having Java installed on our computers?

Keep in mind that we’re talking about Java here, which is not to be confused with JavaScript. JavaScript is used on most of the websites you use on a daily basis (like our site :-)). Java & JavaScript may share a similar name, but they are totally different.

Knowing that cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities within Java in order to carry out their evil-doings, users have to either keep a close eye on Java updates to make sure they’re running the most recent version or remove Java from their PC altogether.

But can you live without Java on your PC? Most likely.

If you frequent sites or use programs that require Java, you could minimize your chances of attack by disabling the Java plugins in your most frequently used browsers and dedicate a browser to be used solely for (trusted) websites that call for it.

Google’s increasingly popular Chrome browser has been known to keep some Java attacks at bay, not to mention it doesn’t use an Adobe Reader plugin in order to view PDF files. So if you’re wondering what browser would be best to use for Java-rich sites, you may want to consider using Chrome.

Aside from removing Java or disabling the browser plugins, it’s a good idea to run antivirus and anti-malware software on your PC that offers real-time scanning for that must-have layer of protection.

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