What the Tech: Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player: you have it on your computer right now if you haven't gone in and deleted it yourself.

It's how we're able to play many videos and games online. But now, Flash is under fire.

Hackers recently discovered they could get to our stuff through a Flash update. Oftentimes that's where that horrible crypto-locker comes from that locks up your computer until you pay a ransom.

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome blocked it. That's why you were having problems playing video last week.

To their credit, Adobe released another update to fill the holes. Chrome and Firefox have it working again. 

Here's what you need to know about the Flash that's on your computer:

  • If you're running Google Chrome, you've got nothing to do. The browser automatically installs new updates.
  • If you're using Firefox or Windows, you'll want to check.

Go to getadobe.com and search for flash or, easier, just search for "update Flash." The website will search your computer to make sure you're using the latest version.

Adobe recommends that you update your Flash Player immediately, following this latest vulnerability.

And finally: Is there anything you can do to delete Adobe Flash?

Yes. You can turn it off or disable it, but if you do you'll get a pop-up asking you to install it.

Plus, you won't be able to play many online videos.

There are movements afoot to kill it all together, and that's gotten a lot of traction lately. But for now, just keep it and your anti-virus updated.

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