Disclaimer: I/We (Julie/AWB) do not claim to be experts or even novices on this topic. The information provided below was compiled from researching Java and its security threats online. If you are aware of any misinformation in this article please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly update this article.
What is Java?
Java is a programming language and platform that allows certain applications to work on multiple operating systems.
What is the issue with Java?
According to the Department of Homeland Security there is a serious design flaw in the Java Oracle software that can create serious vulnerability to your computer if you continue to run the program. In short, an error in the program COULD cause your computer to be accessible by hackers thus increasing your chance for identity theft, viruses and malware or hacking. Homeland Security has suggested that everyone TEMPORARILY disable Java until a patch has been issued.
Should I freak out?
No. Just take precautions against this risk.
Will this affect my internet browsing?
Yes, it is possible you will see slight changes in your browsing experience. Most likely you may see a blank box with a message stating that Java must be enabled in order to view the content.
How long must I keep Java disabled?
Right now the answer is unknown. Oracle (the company that makes Java) issued a statement on Friday saying that a patch would be available “shortly.” No other information was given.
Should I turn off Java?
That is really a personal decision. I (Julie) have temporarily disabled it on my computers. I frequently use my computer for online banking and paying bills and would prefer to be safe than sorry. Perhaps the threat will turn out to be nothing, in which case as soon is a patch is available I will re-install the program on my computer.
How Do I Disable Java?
Complete instructions on how to disable Java in your particular browser can be found here.
Note: The instructions for disabling Java through the control panel will ONLY work if you are running Java 7 Version 10. If you are running a lower version Java recommends updating and then disabling as suggested. You may be unable to update to a higher version in which case it is recommended that you remove the program entirely through your control panel and re-install when a patch is available.
When can I enable/re-install Java?
Right now Java has only issued that a patch will be available soon. We will do our best to keep you informed when this is available and it is safe to enable Java.