Java is a programming language by Oracle that was often used by websites for online games and to do heavy computational tasks in the browser but how many websites still use Java? And do you still need it installed on your PC?
Over a decade ago Java was almost obligatory for computer users as it was so widely used by websites but what about today…
Why Worry About Java?
I have previously reported on another major security vulnerability in Oracle’s Java.
Gaping security holes in Java are nothing new but what made that one even worse is that Oracle were allegedly warned 4 months before – but did nothing, leaving millions of users vulnerable to attack…
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?
How Many Websites Use Java in 2019?
According to research from W3Techs, only about 0.02% of all the active websites in the world still use Java on the client side (i.e. within your web browser). That’s only 2 in every 10,000 websites and that ratio is decreasing year on year.
So you might expect that nobody would still have the Java plugin installed?
However, 15% of our visitors at TechLogon still have it enabled in their browser – and the global average is similar. It is this popularity that still makes Java a target for malware.
But if it’s only required by about 2 in every 10,000 websites, why do so many people still have Java installed and enabled in their browser? There may be several reasons:
1. Offline Applications May Use Java
Some offline apps can still make use of Java e.g. Adobe Creative Suite and OpenOffice / LibreOffice suite (mainly the Database module). Users of such programs may feel they have little choice but to keep Java installed if they want to use all the functionality of the suite.
Tip: you can keep Java installed, for use by offline apps, but disable the Java plugin in your browser – this would prevent web based vulnerabilities from being exploited:
2. Popular Websites May Use Java
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 up to 38,000 websites may still use Java.
These include a few popular sites (e.g. Udemy) and other sites offering calculation-heavy content (e.g. 3D maps, financial trading, mortgage calculators). However, these sites are only likely to be of interest to a very small percentage of internet users.
Tip: if you regularly visit a website which needs Java then consider installing a new web browser (which has Java enabled) to visit it – and use your regular browser (e.g Chrome or Firefox which have Java disabled) for normal browsing on all other websites.
3. Lack Of User Knowledge About Java
In my PC repair business I find that Java is often a forgotten relic on customer’s computers – often they don’t know what it is and so are afraid to remove it – or to update it which is even worse…
Tip: if you have no good reason to keep Java installed, and you don’t visit one of the few sites that still use it, there are many security advantages to uninstalling it completely. You could always install it again in future if necessary – and at least you’d be sure to have an up to date version.
Only 0.02% of active websites in the world still use Java within the web browser – about 2 in 10,000 sites.
The vast majority of computer users could therefore uninstall Java or at least disable it in their web browser for much better security.