Why it's time to disable Java

Why it’s time to disable Java

<p>Want to protect your computer from hackers? Slate writer Will Oremus has some clear advice: Disable Java. The issue? Hackers have had an easy time of late finding holes in Java's browser plug-in. Just last year, you'll recall, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about Java's security issues. This February, another Java vulnerability left what Oremus says is hundreds of millions of Users at risk from massive malware attacks. So Oremus' advice is sound: If you want to keep personal data and files safe, you'll want to disable Java.</p> <p><strong>No Patching</strong></p> <p>How ardently does Oremus feel about Java's security weaknesses? He advises that computer users not even bother with all the security patches that Java has issued. He recommends instead that users completely disable Java. This actually is practical. Most computer users rarely use Java. Only a small number of Web sites are still fueled by Java applets. It's important to note, too, that when you disable Java, you're not actually eliminating it from your computer. If you need it, then, you can always temporarily enable it again.</p> <p><strong>A vulnerable program</strong></p> <p>The latest Java exploit let hackers use Java applications to manipulate the computers of users who visited certain hacked Web sites. The current owner of Java, Oracle, reacted quickly to this attack, putting out an emergency update that patched the Java security hole. That doesn't mean, though, that Java is now secure. Slate's Oremus claims that despite having the patch, Java is still sprinkled with weaknesses that any clever hacker can target.</p> <p><strong>Disabling</strong></p> <p>The good news is it is not difficult to disable Java. If you use Firefox, choose "Tools" from the main menu. Next, click "Add-ons" then click the "Disable" button next to any Java plug-ins. For Chrome, type "Chrome://Plugins" in your browser's address bar. Then click on the "Disable" button below any Java plug-ins. In Safari, click "Safari" in the main menu bar. Next, click "Preferences," then select the "Security" tab. Uncheck the button next to "Enable Java." The trickiest disable is Internet Explorer. You'll need to first call up the Java Control Panel, an undertaking that will require different steps according to which operating system you are using. For more information on how to disable Java on Internet Explorer, visit this link: <a href=”http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml” >http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml</a></p>