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Java Updates – Are they safe? Should I allow the install?

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Java, an application engine designed by Oracle, is a robust platform that is used by many websites that offer interactivity across the web. Many business rely on web-based applications and often they utilize the features of Java. However web browsers, such as Google’s Chrome among others, all require you to download, install and manage a third party application for the use of Java. Often times as a technician we hear many questions, complaints and simple concerns about the safety and legitimacy of allowing the installation or more commonly the updating of Java.

Java updates their software to fix glitches and bugs that are found and more importantly to repair gaping security flaws or holes to their software. These updates are usually so seamless to user integration they often never see the benefit to updating and not updating. In fact most people don’t ever update Java out of fear.

Updating your Java application is very important, but they do try and trick you into installing other applications, and this can be annoying and frustrating; not only for you but for us as well. This is why we have decided to write a post about why to update Java, how to, and more importantly what to look out for during the installation process.

We have gone over why you want to update, and you certainly do. But:
how do I know I’m up-to-date?

When an update is ready, an orange icon with a cup of coffee in the middle will appear in the bottom right hand corner, next to the time clock, and prompt you that an update is available. If you don’t see the icon, or simply wish to check that you’re up to date, visit this site and it will test to verify you have the correct version of Java.
How do I test whether Java is working on my computer?

What to look out for during the installation?

Be aware that Java is an extreemly powerful application that has been developed, distrbuted and maintanined all for free. The software is what is referred to as Open Source, and because of that they rely heavily on advertisement funds. Often times though, they aren’t just advertising, they are trying to trick you into installing some vendor program on your PC that could annoy, slow down or even trick you into purchasing something that you can get for free elsewhere. This unwarrented installation is often overlooked during the installation process. View the following installation process of Java below:
Java update installation step 1 - Welcome to Java
Step 2 - Uncheck to choose not to install advertisement software
Java update installtion step 3 - Progress bar
You have successfully installed Java

Notice in Step 2 that you will want to uncheck the box for installing unwanted software. In each case the advertisement you see will not always be what the image in Step 2 shows. Sometimes they install nasty annoying toolbars, and sometimes like in this case they will try and trick you into installing McAfee virus/spyware removal tool.

These situations aren’t limited to Java and Java’s updates. I want you, my computer users, to understand that everything you accept, hit next or allow on your computer – you’re installing whatever you’re agreeing to. Just be aware of what is checked and set to install.

We’re here to help. If you ever have a suspicion or are confused about an installation – please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Written by admin

March 9th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized