If most of your daily tasks involve the use of computers and browsers, you should already know why it is important to install the Adobe Flash Player. However, you should also remember that there is a lot of security issues with downloading updates for the app. Now, if you are wondering how to find and download these updates securely, read on.
Finding and Downloading Updates
As malware authors often use tricky tactics to make their creations look like something that you can trust, it is recommended to get your Flash updates only directly from the publisher, which is of course Adobe. And because vulnerabilities in this software are increasingly becoming a target of exploit kits in distributing malware to vulnerable computers, it is important to use an updated version of the player as well. You can go to the Adobe page that will tell you which version you are currently loading on your browser. Just find the “Check Now” button to click and see the details.
Similar with updating other Adobe apps, you can head over to the company’s official website to get Flash Player updates.
Enabling Automatic Updates
Flash Player can be configured to automatically download and install updates. On a Windows OS, just open the Control Panel and then the Flash Player menu item, in which you will find the Advanced tab to set the configuration. In the Change Update Settings menu, you can select whether to install updates automatically or to notify first when there are available updates.
Being Skeptical of Program Installers
While Adobe will prompt you to download and install new Flash updates, it is always a good idea to doubt the validity of automatic software update notifications, especially for this player. As you can see, you would be asked to install a program related to this app when visiting a web page, so you should not trust it and quit your browser. Malware is sometimes served this way, such as the cases of Flashback Trojan variants and the infamous fake antivirus for Macs, the MacDefender. Simply put, you should only install programs on your computer system if you confidently know where they came from exactly. With the virtually endless onslaught of security issues associated with the Adobe Flash Player, the importance of securely keeping all your software up-to-date cannot be stressed enough.
Enabling Flash On-Demand
There is an extra step to configure your browser, where it will ask you before loading any Flash object, which is really helpful in limiting your risk of infection. On Firefox, you can do this by going in the Add-ons menu, clicking the Plugins pane and then selecting “Ask to Activate” for the Shockwave Flash plugin. On Google Chrome, you can go to the Settings menu, type “click to play” in the search box and the browser will then highlight the Content settings button. Click on it to open the menu and scroll down until the “click to play” item appears, which you should select. These steps will display a grey box, which you should activate, the next time a Flash object is loaded on both browsers.
If you update Adobe Flash Player on a regular basis and consider the above-mentioned tips, you can keep your system away from security risks.
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