Java security flaw: How to turn it off

In case you haven’t heard yet, a dangerous security flaw has been found in Java 7.10 and the Department of Homeland Security together with other institutions and corporations have been warning users about it.  Apple even used a malware tool built into OS X to turn Java off in end users’ computers, and the Department of Homeland security asks that everyone turns Java off in their browsers.

It is highly recommended that you do turn Java off in all of your browsers; however, this may not be possible for all people, since some need to use Java plugins for their everyday work.  At least make sure to update Java to the latest version, 7.11, which was released a few hours ago by Oracle and addresses this issue in a temporary manner, while developers keep working on a definitive solution to this problem.

How to to update Java:

Go to this URL and choose the appropriate version for your operating system.  Most people these days are running Windows 7 64 bit, so the link to click on that page would be the one before the last: jre-7u11-windows-x64.exe.  When you run the installer, please be careful; it might try to install some random garbage in your system, such as the “Ask toolbar” or a memory-hogging antivirus that doesn’t really do much (other than using up your memory).  Apparently, having a serious security flaw wasn’t enough to give Oracle a bad rap, so make sure that you uncheck any box you see during the installation process.

To confirm that you’re running version 7 update 11, open your control panel; in the upper right search box enter “Java” and then click on the icon that will appear.  Click on “about” and make sure that under the logo it says “Version 7 update 11”.  Even if you do turn it off in your browsers, it’s a good idea to be running this latest patch.

java_version

How to turn Java Off:

You did update to version 7.11, right?  Ok.  Then open the Java control panel just like we did before to check you’re running the right version and this time click on the “security” tab.  Uncheck the little box next to “Enable Java content in the browser”.

disable_java_in_browsers

Ta-daaaaa!  You’re all done.  Well, for now, at least.  Some experts estimate that it will take about two years to completely cover this security flaw, so we can only hope that it will not be that long… in the meantime, avoid using Java plugins as much as possible.

Have any questions?  If so, please leave them in the comments below!

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