We’ve told you about the security issues with Flash before and James has a good question. “With all the security problems with FLASH and so many recommending it’s removal, what recourse is there for folks that use a program such as HP’s “Solution Center” that is FLASH based and won’t work without it? I am sure that there are other programs/utilities that are FLASH based other than just this one by HP, I just don’t have them, or use them. I either dump the “HP Solution Center” or find some way to better secure the program. Any suggestions or solutions would be greatly appreciated.”
James, you’ve basically described the entire problem with Flash in a nutshell. It has a world of security problems, but is widely used. Not just for entertainment like games and watching videos, but for things like HP’s solution center, educational purposes, time clocks, business programs. There are certainly alternatives to Flash, HTML 5 is one. But companies like HP would have to completely re-design and re-program things like the solution center to work on the new platform. Frankly, most companies aren’t eager to spend the money.
I published an article a couple of weeks back where I told you that Facebook’s new security Chief, Alex Stamos, had called on Adobe to put an end-date on the life of Flash. That would force companies to find newer, safer platforms. Judging from the backlash I got for just repeating what he said, that seems to be a very unpopular idea.
Many browsers disable Flash by default. It would be safer to disable Flash, and only enable it when you’re using a trusted site like the HP Solution Center. Make sure you’re up to date on all the latest Flash bug fixes. When an update is available, make sure to download and install it.
Also, just use common sense. The majority of problems can be avoided it you’re super careful about what you click on and where you go online. For now, until there’s a real effort to switch from Flash, that’s about all you can do if you use must use programs that require Flash.