A regular client was having trouble with her Java Updates and asked me to log in from my office to hers to sort it out. I also installed Adobe Reader at her request. Both of these required me to side-step additional software that Java (Oracle) and Adobe want to install as part of the process. Such additional software is classed as Potentially Unwanted Programs but is commonly known as a virus or trojan; you’re getting the gift of free software (the wooden horse) but it comes with unwanted software (the invading army). All done safely in 20 minutes.
Unwanted software will be installed unless you un-tick (un-check) the option for the “recommended” software. The free software you want, Adobe and Oracle in this case, get paid when the additional bundled software is installed. Adobe and Oracle are reputable companies, but most free software comes with additional software that people don’t want and it’s often hidden. My advice is, if in doubt, ask me to log in and do it for you. It saves time (and money) in the long run.
If you want me to log in and help you, click Home in the menu bar above, and click Get Remote Support Now to install the software. You can phone me on the numbers on the top-right of the screen too.
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.