What’s an exploit?

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I recently ran Microsoft Safety Scan, which identified a Java exploit. Are Java exploits a dangerous threat or do they merely function as a tool allowing hackers to infect your computer with malicious software? If the computer is otherwise clean, there’s no reason to worry that the computer has been compromised, right?

The issue here is that the term “exploit” really isn’t clear. In the industry, it ends up being used somewhat ambiguously to mean a couple of things. That can be frustratingly vague.

So, I’ll throw out two definitions of exploit for you.

Read moreWhat’s an exploit?

Why is Java telling me it’s not installed when it is?

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I listened to the hoopla that if you had Java, you were inviting trouble and to uninstall it until they fixed the cracks. So I did. I had Revo Uninstaller and I used it and then I uninstalled Java setup and afterwards, I did a search and nothing was found. I waited a week or so and then I heard that they fixed it so I installed it right from Opera. Everything went as expected. I had to uninstall it about six months ago and installed it the same way. Afterwards, a window came up and said that it was installed and I should see a test object. I saw it and was told that Java was installed. I went to one of my games and it failed to boot. I was told that Java wasn’t installed. I checked programs and saw the icon. I rechecked my game and it told me that Java wasn’t installed. I checked many of my games and was told the same thing by all of them. So I reinstalled it. Everything installed the same and at the end, I was told that Java was installed. I tried a game and was told again that Java was not installed. So here I am stuck. How can I install Java so that it works on my computer?

For a while, Java had some security issues. As you noted, they were fixed… but not really. In fact, I still recommend avoiding Java, if possible. Uninstalling Java is the safest situation to be in; I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

But, I agree. Java can be a tad confusing because there are several parts to it.

Read moreWhy is Java telling me it’s not installed when it is?

Should I disable Java, and if so, how?

Another vulnerability has been discovered in Java; if Java is installed on your machine, malware authors can exploit it to infect your computer with something as simple as your visiting a malicious or hacked website.

As I write this, there is no update to Java, which means that there is no fix. Technically that makes this a “zero-day exploit”.

The fix that most experts, including myself, are recommending is to remove Java from your machine. Chances are you don’t actually need it anyway.

But before we go further, we have to do the old “Java vs. JavaScript” dance.

Read moreShould I disable Java, and if so, how?