Disable or Uninstall Java

19. March 2013 Security 2

And when i say Java i mean Java, not JavaScript.
These are not the same things. Java can operate on it’s own whereas JavaScript needs to be placed inside an HTML document to function. Java uses it’s runtime (a small software environment that is basically a mini Operating System or a Virtual Machine) that is on your computer to run a Java Applet (short for Application). Vulnerabilities in Java allow an Applet to go outside of it’s Virtual Machine and mess with your actual Operating System, this is what makes Java so popular for malware creators. Another things that makes Java so popular is because it is a cross-platform product, meaning Java vulnurability exploits can be used agains Mac, Windows and Linux OS’s. There is a lot more to know, understand and learn about how Java functions and causes your computer to be vulnerable but rather than me going into that to explain it all it’s better to do that research on your own. I will just cover how to get Java disabled on your Mac.

• Before following these steps, run Software Update and make sure you have all the latest updates installed. Additionally, if you open any applications that ask you to install a Java Runtime Environment (or JRE) it means you do not currently have Java installed.
• To disable Java on browsers other than Safari go to the website of their developer and see if they offer instructions.

Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5:
Open Safari. In the main menu click on Safari and open Preferences.
Now select the Security tab and uncheck Enable Java.
You can leave JavaScript on.

Mac OS 10.6:
Follow the same instructions for Safari as described above or;
In your Applications folder > Utilities, you can find the Java Preferences application. Open this and uncheck “Enable applet plug-in and Web Start applications”. Also uncheck the boxes next to all “Java SE #” in the list below.

OS X 10.7 and 10.8:
If you are running the latest version the Java Preferences application i mentioned above will no longer be present, Apple has removed it with a software update. This does not mean Java is gone or disabled. If you do still have the application in your Utilities folder then follow the steps as described for 10.6 to disable Java.
As for Safari, disable Java as described for 10.5 above.

Gatekeeper in 10.8 will also automatically disable Java versions that are deemed unsafe by Apple.

If the Java Preferences application can not be found but you do want to control Java, make sure it’s up to date and disabled then download the latest version/update from the Oracle website. As Java is no longer a part of OS X, any installations or modifications of Java have to be done through a System Preferences panel that is only present after you install Java yourself.

Some people need Java, others (like me) want it installed in case they need it, for testing and/or just to make sure it is disabled properly through the settings. If you want/need Java:

Click here to go to the Oracle website and download the latest version.
Once installed open your System Preferences, you’ll see a Java icon in the bottom row. Click on it and the Java Control Panel will open giving you access to regulate anything Java on your system. First click the Update tab, check for updates and if any are available install them. Also make sure the “Check for Updates Automatically” checkbox is on. Next click on the Security tab. If Java is on, set the security level to High or Very High and click Apply. (test your applications and websites that require Java to see if they still function, adjust the security level if needed). If you don’t need Java and just have this Control Panel installed to check up on Java, control it or disable it, uncheck the “Enable Java content in the browser” box.

Another option, if you do not need or want anything to do with Java, is to completely get rid of it. This is not an easy task though and will require some fiddling around in the Terminal. A good place to start is by deleting the Runtime Environment (that mini Operating System i mentioned earlier). This can be found on your hard drive under System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines. Once you are there, delete the 1.6.0.jdk (your numbers may be different) file. Without it’s runtime, Java can’t function. While this leaves some random Java files on your system they are harmless, don’t take up any space and can’t aid in installing malware.

There are the options available to you. Keep in mind that if you choose to keep Java, even if it is disabled in OS X versions prior to OS X 10.8.3, you may be at risk and a good antivirus application is recommended.

2 thoughts on “Disable or Uninstall Java”

  • 1
    Briony Gaminy on September 24, 2013 Reply

    Hi There Jay,
    Thanks you for your post, Java has emerged as arguably the No. one Net threat and you would be wise to disable it. Java is just about everywhere, it is the programming language utilized in billions of World-wide-web browsers, smartphones, wise payment cards even in TVs and autos. You just about certainly use multiple Java-enabled units on a day-to-day foundation devoid of having recognizing it. Due to the actuality Java is so embedded in all varieties of computing, it has emerged as a ripe assault surface area for cyber criminals. Java is a variety of cross-system computer system software used on PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and even Linux programs, suggests Marcus Chung, main operating officer at Malware bytes. As a outcome, Java-based threats are pervasive and can attain practically all platforms and equipment.

    The basic principle distinction is the point that Java can stand on its own even nevertheless JavaScript have to mainly be positioned inside an HTML document to purpose. Java is frequently a a terrific offer larger and extra challenging language that makes standalone apps. A Java applet so known as primarily mainly because it really is a very small software) is often a thoroughly contained software. JavaScript is textual content that may well be fed into a browser that will interpret it and just after that it can be enacted by the browser even though today’s internet applications are beginning to blur the line among regular desktop purposes and all those which are made doing the job with the typical web technologies, JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

    Java applets operate unbiased in the HTML doc that is contacting for them and Java can also be what operates heaps of appliances and mobile products, and does not demand a web browser. Particular, they appear on the website page, but the HTML doc did very small greater than get in touch with for the software and area it. When the programmer enables it, frequently parameters is ordinarily established by the HTML document. This will involve the background color on the applet of your type of textual content it displays, and so forth. The shipping and delivery from the applet is performed by way of a down load. The HTML doc calls for the software, it downloads to the user’s cache, and waits to operate. JavaScript is wholly reliant on the browser to know it and make it come to daily life.

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