Scared Of Flashback? Here’s How To Disable Java On Your Mac And Stay Safe

Scared Of Flashback? Here’s How To Disable Java On Your Mac And Stay Safe

Got the Flashback spooks?

Apple has said that its working on a tool to end the notorious Flashback botnet once and for all, but there’s still the remotest chance you could get infected. Keep in mind that only around 600,000 Macs have fallen prey to Flashback, and that number is a tiny fraction of the millions of Mac users around the world. Most of the machines that have been infected already are centralized in North America.

Your Mac is completely up to date and you’ve already checked to see if you’re infected by the Flashback trojan. If everything is squared away and you’re not infected already, here’s how to ensure there is zero chance you’ll get infected while you wait for Apple to save the day.

See, Flashback uses Java to crawl its way into your Mac and link you up to a zombie botnet. Like most exploits, your browser is the gateway Flashback sneaks through to gain access to your system. If you close the gateway so that Flashback has no way of exploiting Java, you’re protected. The good news is that disabling Java is super easy.

Scared Of Flashback? Here’s How To Disable Java On Your Mac And Stay Safe

Apple makes it super easy in Safari. Head on over to the Security section of Preferences and uncheck Java. You're safe!

Scared Of Flashback? Here’s How To Disable Java On Your Mac And Stay Safe

Type "about:plugins" into Google Chrome's address bar and disable the Java plugin.

Scared Of Flashback? Here’s How To Disable Java On Your Mac And Stay Safe

In Firefox, visit Add-ons under Tools and click the Plugins tab. Disable the Java Applet Plug-in.

To reiterate, downloading Apple’s Java patches should be enough to keep you safe. This extra step is only for the most paranoid of MacHeads. Java isn’t essential for browsing the web, and most users won’t notice a difference when it’s disabled. Some chat rooms, online games, etc. use Java applets, but you’ll know if you need to re-enable Java to use a site.

And if you’re really, really scared, consider a Mac antivirus tool.

Related
  • likethepear

    Thanks, Alex!

  • Piotr Teicher

    It’s like time machine… Just jump back in time to ’90 and surf an internet without anything but images and text… Maybe it’s time to admit – Mac DO get viruses. Lots of them. And isn’t safet then Windows XP without antivirus. Times has changed, so Mac “safety”.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in How-To, News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , |