Like many people, you’ve probably heard about the many security issues that plague Adobe Flash Player. These, in turn, may have made you wonder: is it safe to download this program? Can I safely update it to newer versions?
The answer is a bit of a hesitant “Yes”. You can safely download Adobe Flash Player as long as you get it from get.adobe.com/flashplayer, which is the official website for the product. Take note that you should have an x86-compatible processor that’s 2.33GHz or faster, 512MB of RAM, and 128MB of graphics memory, along with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x or Windows 10.
As of this writing, the current version of Adobe Flash Player is Version 188.8.131.52, which provides security patches for critical vulnerabilities including CVE-2016-4287, CVE-2016-4272, and CVE-2016-4271. These vulnerabilities allow hackers to take control of your system and obtain sensitive information.
In terms of updating Adobe Flash Player, you can safely do so as long as you know where to get the latest updates. Avoid clicking on popup alerts that encourage you to update your Flash Player; although some of these may be from Adobe itself, many have been used by hackers to plant viruses and other kinds of malware in users’ systems.
Take note that hackers also use websites to disguise malware as Adobe Flash Player downloads. Some webpages, for example, will make it appear as if has Flash Player crashed and encourage you to update it using a fake installer. Clicking on this installer will download malware into your computer. To avoid this scenario, never update Adobe Flash Player when you’re browsing on a third-party website. If you’re using Google Chrome, there’s no need for you to do anything since it automatically updates Flash Player; if you’re using Mozilla Firefox, you can get the latest version of Flash Player from Adobe’s official website.