Recommended Updates: Flash and Java

Sun's Java icon & logo

Sun's Java icon & logo

Note: Due to a scheduling glitch this article was posted on 9/22/09 12 AM EST instead of 9/21 @ 9AM as it should have been.  This is the first of a two part article.

A lot of attention is paid to keeping your computer’s operating system (Windows or Mac OS) up to date, and keeping your antivirus up to date, but there are other programs to keep an eye on as well. My thoughts turn to Adobe‘s Flash Player ADBE and your runtime Java code.

Lately hackers have been going after other Internet related software to attack other computers. In my work repairing and servicing computers I have seen many spyware attacks that have gone after outdated Java code. Probably one a week, at least. On a few other occasions I have seen some Flash Player attacks, too.

What is Java?

Duke, the Java mascot

Duke, the Java mascot

Many of the web sites you visit have Java code on each and every page of tehir site. Particularly if there are any interactive elements such as chat tools, photo galleries and photo editing tools, calculator tools, and even those jazzy dropdown menus. In fact, much of the software behind this blog runs Java code.

205px-Sun_Microsystems_logo.svgJava is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems JAVA, and Macs and Windows machines alike use it. That’s what’s so great about it for web designers and programmers is that it works on so many different computers. That is part of the danger, too. Flaws in the Java code can lead to exploits on many different computers, too, and you can’t blame Apple [[AAPL]] or Microsoft [[MSFT]] for that, in my humble opinion. They’re not responsible for oversights on Sun’s part.

Java Updates

If your computer has been alerting you to the fact that Java updates are available, then I recommend you take them. Even better, I recommend you go to www.Java.com and download your Java update directly.

If your computer has never alerted you to the fact that a Java update is available, then I definitely recommend you go to www.Java.com and get the Java update from Sun because, if you’ve never been told to get a Java update, then you are very likely running a very old version of Java.

When downloading use the “Run” or “Open” option instead of “Save” so the software will install itself immediately.

The current version of Java for many computers as of August 2009 is Java 6 update 16. Java updates roughly every 2 or 3 months.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about Adobe’s Flash Player, its applications, and how to update.

One comment

  1. […] 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. […]

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