Older Java Vulnerable
I recommend uninstalling all previous versions of Java when updating, especially if you're updating to a new full version (i.e. from version 7 to 8).
The attack can be induced if someone visits a Web site that's been set up with malicious code to take advantage of the hole.
Java is necessary for certain features of LibreOffice, OpenOffice.org and perhaps other software to run on your computer. However, I recommend diabling the Java plugin (particularly the Java Development Toolkit) in your web browser — enabling it ONLY for trusted sites.
Update Java Regularly
Update Java whenever updates are available. These releases fix security flaws in Java.
Java 8 has new features, enhancements and bug fixes. Java 8 does not support Windows XP (which is obsolete and should be replaced).
Removing older versions of Java from your system ensures that Java applications will run with the most up-to-date security and performance improvements on your system.
Prevent Java Updater from installing third-party software.
- Open the Java Control Panel: Start ⇒ Control Panel ⇒ Java. If you see categories in the Control Panel, look for Java in Programs.
- Click on the Advanced tab.
- Scroll down to the Miscellanceous section at the bottom and place a check mark in “Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java.”
Java Updater May Not Remove Older Versions
Java's updater may not automatically remove all older versions, leaving your system vulnerable.
- Newer versions will take you back to the Java site after installation to check for older versions using the Java Uninstall tool (Windows systems only).
- You need to provide Java permissions to check for these and to enable Java (see Firefox & Java Security).
To secure your computer I recommend that you manually uninstall all current versions, then install the most recent version available until you're running only the most recent version:
- Uninstall all currently-installed versions of Java.
- Next, download and install the most recent version* for your operating system directly from Java.com.
*Most users only need the 32-bit version of Java. If you use a 64-bit version you'll need to maintain and update both versions.
Firefox & Java Security
Firefox disables the Java plugin on computers running Windows with Firefox 17 or later running Java 7 Update 11 or earlier (the dark grey box on the right). Java warns you before allowing the vulnerability to be exploited.
You'll likely see a warning similar to the light grey one shown on the right for Java 7 Update 13 or later. Be sure to allow Java to run ONLY on sites you trust.
- How to use Java if it's been blocked (e.g. for Pogo.com).
Uninstalling Older Versions
You should always uninstall older versions of Java. Old and unsupported versions of Java are a serious security risk and can leave your system vulnerable.
- Why should I remove older versions of Java from my system?
- How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer?
- Java Uninstall tool.
- Oracle's Java SE Security.
Update to the Most Recent Version
Download the latest version of Java for your operating system:
- Oracle's Consumer Java Site.
- Get the latest Java version automatically.
- The Java Downloads for All Operating Systems page has offline installers for various installations.
- You can test your Java installation.
- The Java Verification page.
Java for Linux
- How to install Java for Linux.
- See Java Downloads for All Operating Systems for offline installers for Linux.
Java for Mac
Installing Java on the Mac has changed with newer version (Oracle's Java version 7u25 and below have been disabled by Apple in OS X).
- Java 8 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Lion) or later and administrator privileges for installation.
- Apple supplied their own version of Java for Java versions 6 and below and used the Software Update feature on the Apple menu to check for the most current Java available for your Mac.
- Apple's Get Java for your Mac now directs you to the Oracle site.
- See Oracle's Java Downloads for All Operating Systems for offline installers for the Mac and the Mac download FAQ.
64-bit browsers have the potential for much faster browsing on 64-bit systems.
However, most addons and plugins are only available for 32-bit browsers so both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) computers currently depend upon 32-bit browsers.
If you do install the 64-bit version of Java you'll need to ensure that you update both the 32- and 64-bit versions.
Updated: April 14, 2015