Effective Internet security practices are much like securing our houses from burglars or other intruders. At a minimum, we must lock our doors and windows to keep the bad guys out. Securing our computers involves locking our “doors and windows” by applying updates to vulnerable software and deleting or disabling unnecessary software that may be a probable “entry point” to our house…er, computer.
One of the ways we can improve our security is to disable the Java Plug-in. It’s used to provide interactive features to web applications that cannot be provided by HTML alone. It can capture mouse input (like rotating a 3D object) and also have controls like buttons or check boxes. These are useful tasks it performs, but the problem is that it’s also a huge target right now for malware attacks. That’s an open door to your house. Not all software applications use Java plug-ins, in fact, relatively few do, so disabling it and avoiding the threat of malware attack, in my opinion, outweighs the possibility that you may need to temporarily enable it once in a while to run a software application that needs it.
Mary Landesman at Mary’s Antivirus Software Blog recently explained how to disable the Java plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. It’s really pretty simple to do. Check out her post and then close and lock that door by disabling Java plug-in.
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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.