Owen WilliamsFormer TNW employee
Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.
It’s been long enough. Vulnerability after vulnerability is found in Adobe Flash and yet most of us continue to put up with it and blindly install it on every computer.
Even when Adobe started packaging rubbish with Flash we kept installing it. With the latest revelations that a surveillance company was exploiting it to take control of computers, it’s time to just stop using it entirely.
It was understandable for a while; it was simply one of those pieces of software you had to put up with to use the internet properly. If you didn’t have it, you couldn’t watch videos or listen to music.
Not anymore: the internet is finally at the point where you can surf free of the bounds of Flash, without worrying about if you can use the things you care about.
Most of the video sites you care about — like YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion — now fully support HTML5 video playback. Soundcloud and Spotify play music using HTML5.
I’ve been flash-free for two months now and haven’t missed a beat. Uninstalling takes just a minute and is one of the best ways to protect yourself against a wide range of attacks.
If you’re on a Mac, uninstall by heading here or for PCs click here. If you don’t need it at all, you can disable it in Chrome too by typing in about://plugins and turning off the Flash plugin.
The spread of sites and services that no longer rely on it is, in part, down to Apple’s dogged refusal to allow Flash on iOS devices. Web developers have been forced to find and build alternatives, which was a gain for the wider Web.
If you really need Flash, you can still use it in Google Chrome thanks to its special sandboxed version, which is safer to use than the traditional implementation. You could also use the ‘click to run‘ mode to limit when it operates on your machine.
It’s time to kill Adobe Flash and stop looking back. We’ll all be safer for it.
Read Next: Adobe is patching a major Flash flaw uncovered in Hacking Team leak
Image credit: based on image from Shutterstock
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