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Updating Plug-Ins on Any Browser

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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Plug-ins are additional software components that are added to your browser to view certain features. Some of the most popular plug-ins are Adobe Flash, Java, and Quicktime Player. These add ons are important to keep up to date, as several are known to have security issues without updates. In the past, we published an article for Firefox users about making sure your plug ins were up to date. There is also a website for Firefox users to go and check if the plug ins are up to date.

But what if you are using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome? I just discovered a website that will allow you to check for Plug-in updates, no matter what browser you use. Qualys BroswerCheck can be used to check the security of any browser. It can be used as a plug-in itself, or you can run it without the plug-in.

When you run it without the plug-in, it will check the browser you are currently using for any security issues, and offer the option to fix them if needed. This is perfectly acceptable and provides the results you need.

Installing the plug-in, though, will allow you to do a more thorough scan. It includes options for a Basic scan, which only scans the current browser, scanning all browsers and your OS settings on Intermediate scan, or scanning your browsers, OS, and any missing Windows security updates using an Advanced scan.

After running an advanced scan, my scan did find one vulnerability in an older version of Flash. It allowed me to click on Fix It to fix the problem and make my browser more secure.

Keeping plug-ins up to date is very important with many known security issues out there. It is especially important if you are still holding onto XP, as this would expose even more vulnerabilities of your system.

-Audra

 

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5 Responses to “Updating Plug-Ins on Any Browser”

  1. Bonnie says:

    I really don’t want anything else that may put a glitch or vulnerability on my system. In section 5 of the User Agreement it states as follows:
    (b) End-User also acknowledges and agrees that the scanning of such IP address or device may expose vulnerabilities and in some circumstances could result in the disruption of services. Certain optional features of the Service, including exploitive scans, involve substantial risk of Denial of Service (DOS) attacks, loss of service, hardware failure and loss or corruption of data. Consequently, End-User assumes the risk for all damages, losses and expenses resulting from use of the Service.
    In your opinion what is the likely hood of something like the above mentioned happening?

    Thank you
    Bonnie

    • cynthia says:

      Bonnie, If you keep your plug-ins up to date, have proper virus and malware protection on your computer, make sure that your Windows and security software are up-to-date and are careful about what you click on – you minimize the risk of anything like this happening.

      But it is possible. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the wording of the terms of service, they just don’t want to be liable if someone creates a bug that exploits Flash. If you want to be super-safe, you could avoid Java and FlashPlayer, but there will be a lot of things you might wish to do on the Internet that you won’t be able to accomplish.

    • audra says:

      In addition to what Cynthia said, you can also run it without the plug in. It does not do as thorough of a scan, but it will still scan the browser you are using without adding anything to your computer.

  2. isabelle says:

    I/m sorry to be so ignorent but what are you calling a “plug in” I neeed a Computer course.

    • audra says:

      A plug-in is something added onto your web browser to add additional functions to the browser. Usually, you add them to play games or to view videos in websites, but sometimes there are other functions. As stated in the article, some of the most common are Java, Quicktime, and Flash player.

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