Do you have Flash Player installed on your computer? Most likely, you do. If you are not sure what Flash is, then you definitely should continue reading. The bad news is, your computer and all of your private information might be at risk. Before you panic, there are tips on how to secure a website that can fix this.

What is Flash and how did I get it?
Flash has been around since the 90’s. It very quickly became a standard for most videos, online games, and animated advertisements. Flash allowed the web to become more “alive” by creative beautiful, colorful animations that drag your attention towards them. Similar to Internet Explorer, after 20 years of a solid reputation, Flash is on its way out.

What is the issue then?
Flash has always been the playground for hackers. Flash allows its developers to go beyond the web development coding language capabilities. It is far more flexible which creates a huge vulnerability for attacks to your local computer.

By simply visiting a site with a Flash animation, the hacker implemented a code in the Flash animation which automatically runs when it detects you are there. From there, it directly accesses your personal information. Likewise, it can get as far as your computer files, which from there, the hacker can manipulate and exploit your data in any way they wish.

The big guys want it out
Despite Adobe’s continues efforts to fix all the gaps in the vulnerability of the program, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are fighting to get it out of the way. Both popular browsers announced that they will stop supporting Flash on their systems. Steve Jobs absolutely omitted Flash from being added to any of the Apple products.

“Allowing Flash – which is a development platform of its own – would just be too dangerous for Apple”.
-Steve Jobs

New coding technology, such as HTML5, allows to fully replace Flash from the web. This will not only increase security but also impact on the speed of the pages.

How to secure a website with Flash

If you are looking for how to secure a website and currently have Flash installed, the solution is easy. You can easily uninstall Flash from your computer by going to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features. Find the program called “Adobe Flash Player (X) Plugin” and then hit right-click > uninstall. Doing so will disable your ability to watch videos on sites that require flash. If you really have to watch that video, and you trust the site, you can simply enable and disable flash when needed.

For chrome, you can simply type “chrome:plugins” in the address bar, this will take you to all of your plugins pages, find Flash and right-click > disable.

For Firefox, go to Tools > Addons > Plugins and set Shockwave Flash to ‘Ask to Activate’.

For Phones and Tablets, they are safe as they do not have Flash installed, so no steps need to be taken here.

Final Thoughts
Although it might be an inconvenience, by disabling and enabling Flash per need basis, you are using best practices for how to secure a website. You are protecting your data from potential attacks, boosting page loading speed, and keeping pages cleaner while browsing.

If you still have questions about Flash or security related topics, as a reputable web design company in Vancouver, we are here to help.

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