Adobe Reader update – better still, replace it

Adobe Reader, previously known as Acrobat Reader, is well known piece of software for opening PDF files (portable document format files).  It is also well know for being a target for hackers.  Hackers find bugs in the program, and exploit them by various means.

If you use Adobe Reader, you probably see that updates are available frequently.  I hope that you do those updates, but that’s not going to keep you secure.  Adobe can’t fix the security flaws until they know they exist.  Hackers don’t give companies advanced warnings of a security flaws, they exploit the flaw for as long as possible until Adobe fix it.  By definition, hackers are using these loopholes before Adobe can fix them; they’re called “zero day exploits”.

In fairness, Adobe is not the only company to suffer from this problem.  Microsoft is constantly issuing patches to Windows vulnerabilities, likewise Java, and even Apple; no, iPads, iPhones, and iPods are not immune to these problems either.

So, what’s the solution?  Well, for a start, you can go to the settings and disable active content, but that only does part of the job.  A better solution would be to uninstall Adobe Reader and use an alternative instead. [EDIT Jan 2015 – my recommendation at the time now bundles malware with their free software. Contact me for my current recommendation] ….although you can’t guarantee it won’t have its own problems, hackers go for the biggest targets so this software is less likely to get hacked.

I can install safer software for you, and generally make your computer more secure.  I can do this in person with a visit to your home or office, or remotely via secure remote access software.  Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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