Local computer experts advise to 'stop Java'

9:48 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -  Simply stated, Java is language for the computer.

"That means it is instructions that computer programmers like me use to tell a computer what to do," Clockwork Active Media Systems Vice President Directory of Technology Matt Gray explained Monday.

Java, run by the Oracle Corporation, has been the subject of all kinds of discussion since last week when the Department of Homeland Security warned that Java's latest version is being actively exploited and advised computer users to uninstall the software.

On Monday, Oracle said it had a patch available to download to fix the issue, but the federal government and security experts still sided with caution and advised people to uninstall Java.

Security experts say hackers can get a special code to exploit the Java weakness pretty easily and from there can launch the attack on hundreds of thousands of computers once you click on a site they crept in on from anywhere, at anytime.

"That's serious because once somebody can run any code they like on your computer its game over. It's like handing the keys to your car to somebody. They can drive anywhere they want," Gray said.

Best way to stop this, on your computer, is to stop Java.

"Java applets are not critical to browse the net today so I recommend uninstalling it," Gray said.

That's the easy part on both the Mac and PC it takes just a few clicks to get rid of it.

On the Mac, head into the hard drive icon, type in java applet in search, then drag that into the trash.

On the PC go to the control panel, then to programs and features, find java programs, highlight them and then click uninstall.

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