Adobe Flash is a browser plug-in that allows advertisers to run animations and videos on your computer. Although there are many efficient alternative formats for running animations and videos, e.g. Java Script, AVI, MPEG, and QuickTime, novices and skill-limited designers prefer to use bloated computer-choking Flash. Not only will bloated flash animations and videos slow down your computer, but they may also install viruses.
According to a security alert on Websense, a malicious Flash banner ad or Flash video can take control of a users computer without any action by user. Flash files (.swf) allow code injection by malicious hackers who use it to install viruses on your computer.
Advertising is placed on Web sites either directly by the site's webmaster, is served from an advertising network. The Web site or advertising network doesn't realize that their Flash animation or video is being used to spread viruses because the hackers design the code to not install the virus on the computer being used to serve the advertisement or video.
You are very fortunate if you have a computer to which Flash was never installed. Unfortunately, Flash is often installed on new computers by default and the only way to remove it is by downloading an uninstaller from Adobe's Web site. Go to Adobe Support and download the appropriate uninstaller for your system.
Unfortunately Flash has become ubiquitous on the Web. It's used by social sites like YouTube and is often required if you want to take any online training, For this reason you may prefer to be able to disable and re-enable it as desired.
NirSoft provides a free utility that allows you to easily disable and enable Flash in Internet Explorer. The TurnFlash utility is a standalone executable, it doesn't require any installation process or additional DLLs. It provides an icon in your taskbar which you click to switch the state of the Flash from enabled to disabled and vise versa. The icon in the taskbar shows you whether the Flash component is enabled or disabled.
If you prefer to use the Firefox browser, Mozilla provides a free plug-in called Flashblock that blocks Flash animations and videos and only allows them to load if you click on the placeholder on the webpage. It replaces all Flash content on Web sites with a round Flash icon. You can selectively enable Flash files by clicking their icons.
Adobe Flash is a bloated computer-choking plug-in that not only slows down your computer, but may also install viruses. Unfortunately novices and skill-limited designers have caused it to become the defacto standard for animation and video on the Web. The information in this article will allow you to take control of Flash to speed up and protect your computer.
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