Recommended Updates: Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash logoThis is part 2 of a two-part article.

This past Tuesday I was discussing how hackers are exploiting flaws in other programs you may have installed on your computer or laptop. First, I discussed run-time Java code from Sun Microsystems, and today I’ll follow up with Adobe Flash Player.You should make sure that these two programs on your computer are up-to-date.

Whether you have a PC or a Mac, there’s a 99.9% likelihood that you have this software on your computer; and regardless of your OS, flaws in these two programs can be exploited by hackers and affect your computer. Much ballyhoo is made about Mac’s safety from viruses, but the exploits I’m discussing aren’t viral.

What is Adobe Flash Player? Which version do you have?

Sample version check image

Sample version check image

Adobe Flash is used on many web sites these days. Just about any animation or movement you see when you are visiting a web page is handled by the Flash software installed on your computer. Flash is also used for some video web sites such as Youtube. And there are also a lot of web sites that have games that are designed using the Adobe Flash program.

Whenever you access one of these Flash-enabled sites, the Flash software on your computer goes to work behind the scenes, but if your Flash software is outdated you might be vulnerable to hacker attacks. As of Sept. 2009 the most current version of the Adobe Flash Player is 10.0.32.18. You can check your installed version of Adobe Flash Player here.

Updating Adobe Flash Player

Updating Adobe Flash Player is very easy to do. Just go to Adobe’s Flash Player Installation page here (http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/). Then click “Agree and install now” on that page. They often include some optional software with the download such as Google’s toolbar or some antivirus software. It isn’t necessary to download those programs when your get Adobe Flash Player, so you can clear those check boxes by clicking them before clicking “Agree and install now”.

Adobe's Download Manager (DLM)

Adobe's Download Manager (DLM)

You might receive some additional instructions from Adobe for proper installation on your specific computer, operating system, and web browser. In some cases you may need to restart your computer, or close and reopen your web browser. Oftentimes the software installer will do this automatically for you.

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