I hear lots of scary stuff about hackers getting into computers through Java. What do I need to do to make my Mac and PC safe? Any worries about tablets?
Java is a computing platform with its own programming language that is used in many games, business applications and other utilities. It runs on more than 850 million computers worldwide and is used often by Web browsers. Recent attacks on Apple and Facebook used a flaw in the Java Web browser plug-in to infect computers with malicious software when visiting certain sites, and the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about Java in January (bit.ly/Xn3JFd).
Disabling Java in your Web browser should protect your computer from the recent security threats, although you may not be able to play certain games or use Java-dependent applications. Oracle, which develops Java, has instructions for disabling Java in several browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux systems at bit.ly/TNdkpk. Independent security sites, like Krebs on Security (bit.ly/U6Qp7b) and Sophos (bit.ly/Vzrtr9), have additional information.
Apple released its own Mac OS X update to deal with the Java problem on February 19, and the Macworld site has an article on going beyond the browser and removing Java altogether at bit.ly/YbKuk1. Oracle published instructions for uninstalling Java from a Windows system at bit.ly/flRbKP and from a Mac at bit.ly/UU9ied.