With that sort of attitude to protection, the most effective security for your computer would be to uninstall Java completely if you don’t need it – but do you?
According to new research from W3Techs, only 0.2% of all the websites in the world still use Java on the client side – i.e. within your web browser. That’s only 2 in every 1000 websites and that ratio has not changed in the last year – so you might expect that very few people would still have the Java plugin?
However, 82% of visitors to TechLogon have it enabled in their browser – and the global average is similar. It is this ubiquity that makes it such a popular target for malware. If it’s only required by 2 in every 1000 websites, why do around 80% of people still have Java enabled in their browser? There may be several reasons:
1. Offline Applications – Some offline apps require it e.g. Adobe Creative Suite and OpenOffice / LibreOffice (mainly the Database module). Users of such programs may have little choice but to keep it installed.
However, you can still disable the Java plugin in your browser – to prevent web based vulnerabilities from being exploited:
2. Popular Websites – I’ve reviewed before how many active websites there are in the world – about 190 million. So even a lowly 0.02% figure means that about 380,000 websites do use Java.
These include some games sites (e.g. Runescape, Minecraft, Pogo.com) and other sites offering calculation-heavy content (e.g. 3D maps, financial trading). However, these sites can only be of interest to a small percentage of internet users – I’d guesstimate 5% at most.
If you regularly use a site which requires Java then consider installing a new web browser (with Java enabled) to visit it – and use your regular browser (with it disabled as above) for normal browsing of all other websites.
3. Lack Of Knowledge – In my PC repair business I find that Java is often a forgotten relic or users may not know what it is for and so are afraid to remove it. If there is no logical reason to have it installed, that is a very good reason to uninstall it.
Only about 0.2% of websites use Java – the vast majority of users should therefore be able to uninstall it or disable it in their web browser for better security.