Thursday, July 13, 2017

It's time to get rid of Flash

Adobe's Flash is what first powered Internet video (like Youtube).  But it's old, bloated, and a favorite target of hackers.  Adobe has a critical security update for Flash available, but it's time for you to consider just disabling Flash entirely.

Security writer Brian Krebs did a "Month without Flash" a couple years back, and said it works:
In almost 30 days, I only ran into just two instances where I encountered a site hosting a video that I absolutely needed to watch and that required Flash (an instructional video for a home gym that I could find nowhere else, and a live-streamed legislative hearing). For these, I opted to cheat and load the content into a Flash-enabled browser inside of a Linux virtual machine I have running inside of VirtualBox. In hindsight, it probably would have been easier simply to temporarily re-enable Flash in Chrome, and then disable it again until the need arose.
Today almost all video is delivered in more modern (and more secure) methods, like HTML 5.

Disabling Flash on Chrome: Go to chrome://plugins/ and select Disable for Adobe Flash Player.

Disabling Flash on Internet Explorer:

  1. Click the Gear icon in the top righthand corner of the browser window
  2. Select Internet Options -> Programs -> Manage
  3. Select Shockwave Flash Client
  4. Select Disable
Disabling Flash on Firefox:
  1. Click on the Main Menu icon (the 3 stacked bars icon in the upper right corner)
  2. Click "Add Ons"
  3. Click "Plugins" from the left hand column
  4. Find the drop down menu next to Flash
  5. Select "Never Activate"
Disabling Flash on Safari:
  1. Click the "Safari" top menu (next to the Apple logo)
  2. Select Preferences -> Security -> Manage Website Settings
  3. Select Flash
  4. Click Block


Anonymous said...

In my version of Chrome (Version 59.0.3071.115 (Official Build) (64-bit)) I had to go to the following location to disable Flash:

Rick C said...

While this is good advice, if you're running a recent build of Chrome or Edge (at least; I haven't checked IE and Mozilla/FF), most Flash is automatically disabled already.

lee n. field said...

I used to install Flash when prepping a new system, but haven't for a few months now. I've had no complaints.

One more think I'm just as happy to skip.

Atom Smasher said...

I turned off Flash in Chrome a few months ago based on advice here and I haven't noticed any pain.