Protect Yourself From Hackers: Disable Java

This may come as a shock to you but one of the simplest ways to safeguard your computer from hackers it to turn off Java on your machine. Java is software that allows websites to run interactive software. However, Java has been criticized for being a backdoor for hackers to get into your system. Business Insider pointed out that earlier this year 700,000 Apple computers were contaminated with the Flashback Trojan malware. One thing these computers had in common is that they were all running an out-of-date version of Java.

Security flaw

In an earlier version of Java there was a security flaw that hackers took advantage of. Fortunately, Oracle quickly honed in on the issue and fixed it in a recent version, but not before the damage was done. The ongoing problem is that if you still have an old version you might be vulnerable. Your best option is to disable it. This is not a big deal since most websites do not require Java anymore to work.

Turning off Java

Turning off Java requires different steps depending upon what web browser you use. In Firefox users must first select “tools” from their browser’s main menu. They should then click “add-ons” and the disable buttons next to any Java plug-ins.

Safari users must first click “Safari” in the main menu bar and then “Preferences.” Once they’ve done this, they can select the “security” tab and make sure that the button next to “enable Java” is not checked.

Google Chrome users need to type “Chrome://Plugins” in their browser’s address bar. They can then click the “disable” button listed below any Java plug-ins.

Don’t touch JavaScript

Here’s a warning, though: Java and Javascript are not the same thing. If you accidentally disable Javascript on your computer, you won’t do anything to protect yourself from hackers. However, you might make it so that the websites you visit no longer work properly.