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Protect Your Mac From Flashback: How To Disable Java

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By now you’ve already heard of the Flashback botnet that has infected thousands of Macs worldwide. Hopefully, you’re not one of the 600,000 Macs that have been infected. Apple is already hard at work trying to make a tool that will finally stop Flashback in its tracks.

Protecting yourself from Flashback is as simple as downloading the Java patches that Apple has released. Doing this will be enough to keep your Mac safe. But if you are the paranoid type and want to make absolutely sure that Flashback won’t get into your system you can perform an extra step – disable Java on your Mac.

Disabling Java on the Mac is a very easy step and won’t affect your browsing or computing experience. Java is not important for surfing the internet and you probably won’t even notice any difference when surfing online. There are some sites that require Java applets, but you’ll know when it is needed and you need to enable it.

So how do you disable Java on your Mac?

For Safari, all you need to do is to just go over to Preferences. Look for the Security section and simply uncheck Enable Java. You’re now safe from Flashback.

If you’re using Google Chrome, just type “about:plugins” (don’t include the quotation marks) on the address bar. Look for Java and just disable it.

For those who use Firefox, go to Tools and click on Add-ons. This will open the Add-ons Manager. Click on the Plugins tab. Now look for the Java Applet Plug-in and disable it.

You’re now completely Flashback proof!

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

4 thoughts on “Protect Your Mac From Flashback: How To Disable Java

  1. You wrote “…simply uncheck Enable JavaScript” but I assume you meant to say, “…simply uncheck Enable Java” not JavaScript. Disabling JavaScript will break an large number of webpages.

  2. Actually, you would want to uncheck the “Enable Java” checkbox, not the “Enable JavaScript” checkbox. Flashback takes advantage of a security vulnerability in Java which, in spite of it’s similar name, is very different from JavaScript. Also, disabling JavaScript would change the behavior on many websites. Disabling Java would have no negative effect on web browsing.

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