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It’s been awhile since I have posted, but let’s just move on and get to some meat and potatoes.

You have probably been reading about or hearing about the security problems with Java that have been all over the web tubes in the last week. You have probably heard of Java, but don’t really know if this is affecting you or not. Chances are, it is not a concern. Very few Mac users use Java when they are browsing web sites. Don’t get it confused with Javascript! There are certain things that will “break the web” if your turn them off. If you disable Javascript, many sites will not work.

Then what is Java used for? For websites that you are going to, not very much. Unless you use pogo.com. It is used in all kinds of other places though. Blu-ray players, cell phones, ATM machines, and all other kinds of devices that run software. You can see some information about Java and your web browser by going to http://javetester.org

What can you do to be sure you aren’t susceptible to this Java exploit? If you are running Mac OS 10.6 or higher, Apple has already disabled the Java plug-in for Safari with their XProtect malware definitions. If you are using Safari and you haven’t noticed any sites coming up with “Blocked plugin”, then you aren’t using Java. FireFox has also disabled the web plugin. You can still manually turn off Java in your web browsers. For Safari, go to Safari -> Preferences -> Security and unchecking Enable Java.

To disable Java in Firefox, the procedure is different. For Google Chrome, Go to Chrome -> Preferences  and type in “Java” in the Search Settings box. It will direct you to click on Content Settings. Scroll down to the Plug-ins section and click on “Disable individual plug-ins…” If you see Java, click the Disable link under it, Phew!

Even though this won’t affect many Mac users, it is still cause for concern. There are actually criminal enterprises exploiting security holes to try and take your money. Thankfully, the Mac community is very quick about disseminating information quickly and Apple has taken steps to protect the users of it’s OS. Granted, Apple being able to disable something without you knowing is a little disconcerting also, but that is another post…

– Jason


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