It’s 2016 and your PC still needs to Adobe Reader and Flash right? Well, not really. You can get by without having to manage ether. Actually it’s best that you do ditch them for your computers security.
I don’t install or maintain Adobe Flash and Reader anymore. I haven’t for the past few years. “Don’t you need those?” you may ask. Yes, we all still use PDF files and we all also like to watch Youtube or other online content. So, how do you get away without it? What are the risks for keeping them?
If you are keeping track of how often you need to update both applications you may have noticed it’s quite frequently. However, what you may not have noticed is how critical the flaws are that are being patched. Every recent patch to both programs close holes that can be exploited by malicious files and hackers. With the rise of malware laden advertisements this makes it even worse as flash ads could have a payload to compromise your system. So browsing to a trusted website being served via any ad agency is susceptible to attack. Basically, these are one of the most exploited programs to infect machines and the avenues for infection are everywhere. If you haven’t been updating them, please do so now. Better yet, uninstall them and use these alternatives.
Firefox and Chrome
Here’s a not well known piece of information. Both Chrome and Firefox both have built in PDF readers now. This means that instead of opening Reader when downloading a PDF or opening one saved locally, you can pick either web browser to do it for you. Good-bye and good riddance Adobe Reader!
What about video? YouTube has migrated to HTML 5 which means Firefox should be able to watch any video. Generally things just work and most of the web is non-flash friendly thanks to Apple and their hard stance on removing flash from iOS. However, sometimes you need to access flash applications online. Or some websites simply don’t work without it. So with that…
Chrome’s managed and integrated Flash
Chrome has flash built in. Yes, the real deal. It’s also maintained within Chrome so no extra updates are needed to keep yourself safe. Just make sure you are running the latest browser(which is easy because it auto updates). So Chrome can easily fill in both Reader and Flash and updates automatically.
Unfortunately for Firefox this means Chrome is the better all in one. So if you only want a single program that you probably already use, just ensure you run the latest version of Chrome. However, like most things, it all boils down to preference and need. Ether way you go, you don’t need to personally maintain Flash or Reader