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How to Turn Off Java to Save Your Computer

Java is a software platform that, even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve probably still used it on your computer, Mac or Windows. It’s installed on nearly every system out there, so you might be upset to learn that there is a very real threat for computers with it installed (… so almost everyone, everywhere. Uh-oh.)

This time (as there are always vulnerabilities appearing in software), the number of cyber attacks aimed at exploiting the security oversight has increased quite quickly.

This is because a method of using this exploit to infect computers with malware was integrated into the latest “Blackhole” attack toolkit – a set of programs sold on the black market to help criminals exploit computers.

The technical name for the Java exploit is CVE-2012-4681, but rather than detail more about the attack, we’re going to tell you how to prevent it affecting your system – by disabling Java in your web browser.

How to turn off Java applets – Internet Explorer

  1. Go to the Tools menu, or the Tools drop-down in the top-right corner, and select Internet options.
  2. Click on the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  3. Highlight Java Plug-in.
  4. Click Disable (this is located under “Settings” in IE7)
  5. Click OK twice.

How to turn off Java applets – Firefox

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP), and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
  3. Click on the Java (TM) Platform plugin to select it.
  4. Click on the Disable button (if the button says Enable, Java is already disabled).

How to turn off Java applets – Google Chrome

  1. Click the spanner icon and select Settings.
  2. Click Show advanced settings.
  3. In the “Privacy section”, click the Content settings button.
  4. In the “Plug-ins” section, select “Disable Individual Plugins”. Then click “Disable” under Java.

How to turn off Java applets – Safari

  1. In Safari, choose Safari > Preferences or press Command-comma (⌘-,)
  2. Click “Security”.
  3. Uncheck (deselect) “Enable Java”.
  4. Close the Safari preferences window

Think of this as like putting your car in the garage and never using it – it doesn’t solve the problem of car thieves, but it means they won’t try to steal it off you while you’re driving around town. And most websites should function fine without it.

If some sites you normally visit stop working, however, they may be Java-dependent, and then you’ll have to reverse the steps to turn these back on.

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One Response to How to Turn Off Java to Save Your Computer

  1. Chiabudini says:

    Doesn’t work for iExplorer.
    Not a real good advice.

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