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August 30th, 2012

How do I disable Java in my browser?

Question of the day: I read your blog about the Java exploit. I want to remove it from my computer. How do I do that?

Thanks for reading the avast! blog.  As Jiri Sejtko described in our blog today, serious security flaws in Java version 7 allow hackers to take control of PCs and Macs. The Avast Virus Lab is releasing generic detections and using behavioral and dynamical detection mechanisms to protect our users, however they also recommend that you disable Java in your browsers. The Virus Lab explains the exploit in details on our blog, and here are instructions on how to unplug Java from different browsers.

For Windows: go to Start > Control Panel, click the Uninstall a program link. Find Java on the list of programs. If you have version 7, uninstall it.

For Mozilla Firefox: From the main menu select Tools > Add-ons. In the Add-on management window, choose Plugins. Find any plugins on the list that say Java and click the Disable button. Restart Firefox.

For Google Chrome: Type “chrome://plugins/” (minus the quotes) into the browser address bar. Find any plugins on the list that say Java and click the Disable button.

For Internet Explorer: I have been told that disabling Java in IE is complicated. The U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (USCERT) has some steps here. This may be a good time to switch to a different browser.

For Safari: Click Preferences > Security tab > uncheck the Enable Java option.

For Opera: Type “opera:plugins” (minus the quotes) into the browser’s address bar. Find any plugins on the list that say Java and click the Disable button.

For OS X 10.7 and 10.8:  go to Macintosh HD/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/ and remove the 1.7.0.jdk file. Older versions of OS X run Java 6.

Also, make sure that you have up-to-date avast! antivirus protection because avast! detects the latest Java zero day exploit in real time as Java:Dong-A [Expl] . We would appreciate your recommendation as well. We make it easy to share with your Facebook friends via our Recommend avast! app. Thank you!

edit: added Opera instructions

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