Comp-U-News from Comp-U-Talk

March  2015

"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."

Lyndon B. Johnson



who's getting hackedI thought you might be interested in what I stumbled into this past month. The chart to the left shows the applications hackers target most. I was wowed that Java is number one. Somehow, I don't think being number one in this contest was the goal.

So what is Java and do you need it?
Java Control Panel
Java comes in two parts. First, it is a programming language used to create applications to run on your computer. Second, it is a plugin installed into the browser allowing you to run the programs created in the first step. The plugin is the problem. You can disable the plugin. It's easy. Find the Control Panel. In Windows 7: Click on the Start Button then click on Control Panel in the Right hand pane. In Windows 8: Swipe in from the Right and type "Control" in the search box. Once you have located the Control Panel, look in the upper right corner. If it says Category View, click and change it to Large Icons. From there click on Java. Once the Java page comes up, click on the Security Tab and remove the check mark from the box labeled "Enable Java content in browser". That's it, you are all done. EASY!

Word of warning: Java is not the same thing as JavaScript. JavaScript is an integral part of your web browser and turning off JavaScript will break all sorts of things like Facebook, Online Banking, and form filling. Most popular websites have some sort of JavaScript running. If you stumble into settings for JavaScript, leave them alone.

And my personal thoughts: I suspect the reason Java is the most hacked has to do with the confusion of the name. While JavaScript is necessary and safe and included in the web browser, plain Java is, for the most part, a relic of the past, and unnecessary. Because they are so easily confused, huge chunks of the nation have installed Java believing it is required for JavaScript to function. In truth, the majority of users can completely uninstall Java and notice no adverse affects. In thirty plus years of tech support I can only think of two instances where Java was a requirement. The first occurred this past month and involved verifying and submitting W-2's to IRS. The second involves a reservation system. I'm certain there are other cases out there, but if you are mostly running Microsoft Office, chances are you can completely remove Java and never miss it.

Surf Safe,


And Just For Fun:

Pump Organ

My husband blessed me with a new piece of exercise equipment and a challenge:  William Tell Overture.  For the uninitiated:  this is an antique pump organ and William Tell  Overture is the theme song to Lone Ranger.  I’m uncertain if Neal is encouraging a leaner, trimmer, sexier me, or trying to collect on my life insurance!