Turn off Java to protect your computer

<p>Want to protect your computer from hackers? Slate writer Will Oremus has some straightforward advice: Disable Java. The problem? Hackers have had an easy time of late uncovering holes in Java's browser plug-in. Just last year, you'll remember, the Department of Homeland Security even issued a warning about Java's security issues. Then this February, another Java weakness left what Oremus says is hundreds of millions of Users at risk from massive malware attacks. So Oremus' advice is sound: In order to keep personal information and files safe, you need to disable Java.</p> <p><strong>Skip the patch</strong></p> <p>Oremus feels so strongly about this, he advises computer users to not bother with patches to cover up Java's vulnerabilities. Instead, he recommends that users disable the program. Why? Because most of us seldom use it. Relatively few Web sites today are powered by Java applets. When you disable Java, you aren't removing it from your computer. You're just keeping it quiet. Oremus recommends that if you require Java to view certain key Web sites to keep Java enabled in a secondary Web browser which you only use when you need to access a Java-controlled site.</p> <p><strong>A vulnerable program</strong></p> <p>The trouble with Java is that it is very vulnerable to hackers. In the most recent breach, hackers used holes in Java to take over the machines of Internet surfers who visited compromised Web sites. The company that owns Java, Oracle, lost almost no time in putting out a fresh security patch to fix this problem. The fact is that, Java is known for a history of security leaks, and there's no reason to assume that hackers won't locate new ones to exploit.</p> <p><strong>The disabling process</strong></p> <p>If you're ready to disable Java, it's a uncomplicated task, depending on the Web browser that you use. If you're a Chrome user, type the phrase "Chrome://Plugins" in your browser's address bar. Check the "Disable" button next to any Java plug-ins you see. If you are using Safari, click on the "Safari" option in your main menu bar. Then click "Preferences." Select the "Security" tab. You'll see a checked button next to the option "Enable Java." Uncheck that box to turn Java off. In Firefox, select "Tools" from your main menu. Click "Add-ons," and then select the "Disable" button next to any Java plug-ins that you see. To no one's surprise, Internet Explorer boasts the trickiest Java disabling procedure. To learn more concerning how to do this — there are too many steps to list here — visit <a href=”http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml&#8221; >http://www.java.com/en/download/help/disable_browser.xml</a></p>

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TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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