Would You Like an Update With Your Java?
Sun Microsystems has released a security update to its Java software. Since cyber criminals have a history of targeting Java vulnerabilities, and because at least 800 million computer users have some version of Java installed, it's probably time for most readers to update this program.
Sun's release notes are somewhat light on details, saying Sun Java 6.0 Update 11 contains fixes for one or more security vulnerabilities. Not sure whether you have Java or the latest version installed? Check out this link.
Windows users can grab the latest version by opening the Windows Control Panel, clicking the Java icon, and then visiting the "Update" tab and clicking "Update Now." After you begin the update process, note that unless you want the Yaboo! toolbar also installed, you'll need to uncheck that option before proceeding with the rest of the install. Other OS users can find the update by following this link.
If you're using Java 6 and already have the most recent version (Java 6 Update 10) installed, you should notice that Sun's new patch-in-place mechanism works as advertised, meaning users won't have to manually uninstall old versions of the program. Update 11 successfully removed update 10 after it installed on a test machine, but be aware that it will not remove versions of Java prior to update 10.
Of course, one alternative to keeping Java updated is to simply remove it from your system altogether. I'm happy to report I've been living without Java on my Windows Vista system for several months now without any regrets or apparent need for the program.
For those readers who do have Java installed and wish to put it to good use, allow me to plug the free Software Inspector service from Secunia, which can help Windows users stay on top of which programs need updating. Users can run a scan either from the company's Web site, or by installing their Personal Software Inspector program. According to a post today on the company's blog, even with this help most computer users are running at least one outdated or insecure third-party program. The company found that 98 percent of the 20,000 PC users running Personal Software Inspector still have program updates to apply.
December 3, 2008; 1:18 PM ET
Categories: New Patches , Safety Tips
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