Should we stop using Java?

Lots of news floating around about the security concerns of Java.  U.S. Government of Homeland Security says to disable it and discontinue use at once.  The problem with Java is it seems to be constantly exploited and computers are getting infected.  A patch comes out, assuming you install the patch right away, you are ok.  For now, until the next exploit.  Many people don’t do their updates right away, or at all.  They are even more at risk.

Some experts and Government security is saying to disable Java all together.  I see why on one hand, but on the other hand, once Java is out of the picture, hackers will focus on something else to exploit, and that will become the next big target.  Apparently, not many websites use Java now and you may not notice a difference having Java disabled.  You can certainly try disabling Java, or completely un-installing it from your computer.  If you find certain websites don’t work (they will tell you it requires Java), then simply reinstall Java.

The issue today is no different or more urgent than what it has in the past.  Java has always constantly been exploited and what the government and others is really saying is, enough is enough, let’s get rid of Java all together until they get their act together.  That’s all.  Nothing new, just that they had enough of these reoccuring issues.

If you are using Java and want to continue using it, ensure you go to www.java.com and download the latest version.  But don’t stop there, Go to add/remove programs and uninstall any old versions of Java that may be in your computer still.  There should only be one version, if any, and that’s the latest version.  Currently, as of the writing of this article, the latest version of Java is 7 update 11

To disable Java in Internet Explorer, if that’s what you choose to do, click the tool in the top right and go to Manage add ons, like in the image below.  Then find the Java entries, highlight them and click Disable for them all.  That’s it.  See both images below.

If you want to be sure Java is gone completely, go to the Control Panel and click “Programs & Features” if you’re using Windows 7, or “Add/Remove Programs” if you’re using XP.  Find Java and uninstall.   If you do not uninstall Java, it may prompt you to re-enable it.

You can try disabling Java if you like, and see how the computer works with out.  If you have problems, you may need to enable and disable constantly.  You certainly don’t want to be paying tech support to keep enabling and disabling, so being on an automatic update program like Twinbytes monthly maintenance will help ensure you are always up to date on security patches like this and many others.