I Just Removed Flash From My Computer, You Should Too

There aren’t too many things that still make me see red these days. Yes, I’ve mellowed a bit in my old age. Certainly getting cut off in traffic is one thing that cheeses me off.

Here’s another: Opening a link in a new tab while continuing to read the original page, and then hearing a full volume video come blaring out my speakers. Especially if it’s a video advertisement. And even more especially if I have to hunt around the freakin page to find it and shut it off.

Still, as problems go, it’s not really a biggie. More of a first world problem, really.

Except if those video ads run on Flash.

As noted previously, my recent experience with hacking has heightened my awareness of security a bit, and Flash is a security nightmare.

Today, reports have come to light that the Yahoo Ad network has been used to show Flash adverts that install malware on the computers of web surfers. The malware spammers used a vulnerability in Flash, and dare I say it, the negligence of Yahoo’s ad verification team, to set up adverts to install malware. That means that anyone seeing a Flash based advert on Yahoos’ network may have been infected with malware.

And this isn’t the first time that Flash has been used in this way.

Steve Jobs famously hated Flash for its bugginess and refused to let it on his iOS based products. In light of the security scares, it appears he was right.

To be fair to Yahoo, they responded quickly, took down the offending adverts, and fixed the security hole in their system. But still I wonder, how long until the next Flash exploit is exploited?

So this morning I uninstalled Flash. Here’s a good guide to make sure it’s completely uninstalled.

So what about Flash games?

Simply, once you’ve uninstalled Flash any games that depend on it will no longer work. For me, well I don’t play many/any Flash games, so there’s no problem, but I do know a lot of people enjoy them. I guess it comes down to your own preferences of risk. Keep playing Flash games and risk malware infection, or remove it and play something else. There are more and more HTML 5 games now to replace the Flash ones.

So, there you go. Time to put the Flash puppy down.