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How to Disable Java, Step by Step Tutorial: Protect Yourself From Hackers Using Java [PHOTOS]

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(Photo : Flickr) The U.S. Department Homeland Security is urging computer users (like yourself) to disable Java software.

Hackers are now using Java to corrupt your computers, which is why U.S. Department Homeland Security is urging computer users (like yourself) to disable Java software to protect your devices, and we have provided a step-by-step tutorial.

According to Reuters, hackers have figured out how to exploit Oracle Corp's Java software to install malicious software "enabling them to commit crimes ranging from identity theft to making an infected computer part of an ad-hoc network of computers that can be used to attack websites," the report said.

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"We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem," the Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in a posting on its website late on Thursday.

"This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered," the agency said. "To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, disable Java in Web browsers."

Java is widely used, which is why it's a prime target for hackers.

What is Java?

According to Reuters, Java is "a computer language that enables programmers to write software utilizing just one set of code that will run on virtually any type of computer, including ones that use Microsoft Corp's Windows, Apple Inc's OS X and Linux, an operating system widely employed by corporations. Computer users access Java programs through modules, or plug-ins, that run Java software on top of browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox."

Java.com describes the Java as the "ideal technology for network computing." The website gives statistics which say that Java is "everywhere," from 1.1 billion desktops, 3 billion mobile phones, to 100 percent of all Blu-ray players. The website also says that "31 times more Java phones ship every year than Apple and Android combined."

Tutorial (provided by Oracle webpage)


A photo of the Java Control Panel.
A photo of the Java Control Panel.

Disable Java in All Browsers

To find the Java Control Panel, open Control Panel and launch the Java applet (Start Button in XP, Start then Control Panel Search for Vista, Windows logo key + W then Search Charm for Windows 8).

1. In the Java Control Panel, click on the Security tab.

2. Deselect the check box for Enable Java content in the browser. This will disable the Java plug-in in the browser.

3. Click Apply. When the Windows User Account Control (UAC) dialog appears, allow permissions to make the changes.

4. Click OK in the Java Plug-in confirmation window.

5. Restart the browser for changes to take effect.

Disable Java in One Browser

Internet Explorer

The only way to completely disable Java in Internet Explorer (IE) is to disable Java through the Java Control Panel as noted above. 

Chrome

1. Click on the Chrome menu, and then select Settings.

2. At the bottom of Settings window, click Show advanced settings

3. Scroll down to the Privacy section and click on Content Settings.

4. In the Content Settings panel, scroll down to the Plug-ins section.

5. Under the Plug-ins section, click Disable individual plug-ins.

6. In the Plugins panel, scroll to the Java section. Click Disable to disable the Java Plug-in.

7. Close and restart the browser to enable the changes.

Note: Alternatively, you can access the Plug-ins settings by typing about:plugins in the browser address bar.

Firefox

1. Click on the Firefox tab and then select Add-ons

2. In the Add-ons Manager window, select Plugins

3. Click Java (TM) Platform plugin to select it

4. Click Disable (if the button displays Enable then Java is already disabled)

Safari

1. Choose Safari Preferences

2. Choose the Security option

3. Deselect Enable Java

4. Close Safari Preferences window

On Mozilla.com, Mozilla gives instructions on how to disable Java via Click to Play. [SEE HERE]

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