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Is Shockwave Player safe?


Is Adobe Shockwave Player safe? I seem to remember you said in one of your articles to beware of it; that it could infect you with bad stuff. I was browsing around for free games and came across one that would not run unless I downloaded it.

Shockwave gets confused with Flash; they’re related in a way but they’re really two different things.

In theory, like most software, Shockwave is safe as long as you keep it up to date. Shockwave itself is not going to bring any infections with it; it’s the games and the tools, and potentially the malware that’s out there that could cause issues; just like they could cause issues with any software that you install on your machine.

I say “in theory”, because Shockwave’s heyday has passed. Shockwave was indeed used for a lot of games back in the day. It’s not as popular these days, having been supplanted by other technologies, like Flash. My guess is that the games that you’ve run into are some old games. I suppose it’s possible that there are some newer ones as well that still use Shockwave.

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There are two tips that I have for keeping your computer safe while having Shockwave installed.

First of all, download and install it only directly from the site. Make sure to select Custom Install when you run the installer and decline any extras that aren’t actually related to Shockwave, like toolbars and search engines.

Shockwave logoSecond, keep it up to date. Since it’s older and less popular now, I’m not sure if it actually has an auto-update feature. It might well be on your shoulders to periodically check for new versions and make sure it’s up to date.

To be honest, my alternative would be to find other games to play. It’s just one more way that you could be exposing your computer to malware.

Again, in theory, Shockwave shouldn’t cause a problem for your machine. But in theory there shouldn’t be malware either, and we know how that’s been working out.


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