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smriti
smriti • Dec 23, 2011

Java Plug-Ins Considered A Security Risk

What seems like a tiny price to pay for a better browsing experience is a devil in disguise. With the number of cyber criminals at work and the level of damage that a malicious hacker can obtain are rich. No doubt both Google and Mozilla blacklist or block plug-ins when they expire.

Flash, Adobe Reader, and Java are the three most popular plug-ins and the ones most prone to risk too with exploits tinkering with them and planting them across the web. Their wide use makes them easy targets for vicious activities. Flash, as a plug-in is mostly used to view media content or support games on certain sites, though with the rise of HTML5, the need for it is fading away. While Adobe Reader plug-in is still required to access PDF manuals, Java is probably obsolete and is only functioning as a security threat.

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It is true that Java was at one time a necessary tool, but times have changed and one can easily do without Java now. Sitting there, in an idle state, it will do more bad than good  says F-Secure’s Mikko Hypponen. With the tool removed, surfing will be more secure, with almost nil hindering to your browsing experience. Exploits like the recently-discovered Java Rhino will be kept at bay.

In case it is essential for you to use Java plug-ins, Hypponen suggests using a secondary browser for times the plug-in is needed, so that it's activated only in your secondary browser. Visit the sites that need a Java plug-in, then close the secondary browser when the work is done and return to your default browser. If you're not satisfied with the above measures, make sure to run the latest version of Java or else your system will be at risk.

Source: F-Secure Image Credit: F-Secure

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