Adobe Flash Player is installed on most computers to allow video content to be displayed in browsers. It’s critical to keep it updated, but important not to install a fake update. Please read on.
It seems like every other week we read about vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player that require an update. These are serious issues–they can allow malware and ransomware to be installed on your computer–so it’s important to keep Flash updated. Unfortunately we have also seen reports of fake Flash updates being used to install malware on Mac’s and PC’s.
So how do you keep Flash updated without falling for the fake updates? Flash has an option to automatically check for and install updates, which will protect you against being out of date and also from being scammed into installing malware.
If you have installed recent versions of Flash you will have a a utility in your Control Panel (PC) or System Preferences (Mac) that allows you to set update options:
- Open up the Control Panel from the Windows Start menu or System Preferences from your Apple Menu. If you’re on Windows make sure that your Control Panel is set to “Small Icons” display by choosing it from the little menu in the top right of the window.
- Select “Flash Player.” It might be called “Flash Player (32-bit)” or something like that.
- On the ribbon, click “Updates.”
- Choose the “Allow Adobe to install updates” option.
- Close up the window and you’re all set.
Now you no longer have to wonder if you are up to date with Flash, and security updates will be automatically installed. If you receive an alert to update Flash when you are working in your browser, always decline to install it; you can then go to the Control Panel or System Preferences and have the Flash Update panel check for you.
If you don’t have the Control Panel or System Preferences icon then you don’t have a recent version of Flash installed. If you want to install the newest Flash, go to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and choose “Install Now.” But another caution: Adobe often tries to sneak in add-ons like McAfee Security or True Key, especially on Windows systems. If you do go to Adobe to download Flash, make sure to uncheck any Optional Offers you are presented with.