Flash Uninstall

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For years we have all used the Flash Plugin from Adobe to view video feeds online. However, as you may know, there are tons of security vulnerabilities in Flash, always have been. After doing some recent research, I have decided to uninstall Flash from my iMac. If you are interested, here is how you do it.

 

Danger Will Robinson

If you are not convinced that Flash is a security issue then read this recent post from a Mac blog that I frequent:

You should not be unconcerned about these vulnerabilities: they may allow criminals to use your computer to send out spam, to store and host illegal content, to encrypt your files and demand ransom to give them back to you, to harass you with unwanted web pages and pop-ups, and many other mal-uses of your computer, such as making it part of a robot network (botnet) that is used to swamp sites with page requests. Programming errors in these mal-uses may cause your computer to crash; sending and receiving files may slow down your internet connection or use up your data plan as well as take up space on your disk. If your computer is sending out spam, your ISP may cancel your account. If it is hosting child pornography or other illegal content, you may get a visit from the FBI.
– via www.macintouch.com

 

The author is being sacastic at the beginning of the quote about not being concerned, but the things he lists are true. There are other issues with Flash, the above is just a summary of sorts. It is totally dangerous to have on your Mac.

The Unistall

If you wish to uninstall it then first go download this Flash uninstaller from the Adobe website. It will look like this on your Mac:

Once you open this little app you will see this window:

Just click on the “Uninstall” button and away you go. However, if you have an app open that uses the Flash plugin (like Safari) you will see a window like this:

Click on “Force Close All” and the unistaller will get back to business. You will be asked to authenticate, then the app removes Flash from your Mac. It lets you know when it is done:

After removing flash from my system I did a restart just for drill.

Alternatives

As I mentioned most sites that use Flash also post their video content in HMTL 5 format these days. However, if you really need to see a Flash video then the author of the above quote recommends this:

For those sites that require Flash (and their Flash content is important enough to you that you want to see it), you should install the Google Chrome browser (instructions below) and switch to it only when you need to go to a page with Flash that you want to see. Chrome has Flash built in (so it does not make Flash available on the rest of your computer), and Google automatically updates your Chrome browser with the latest Flash as soon as it is available from Adobe. However, “only” use Chrome when you need to view a page with Flash because Adobe can only update Flash after a vulnerability has already been discovered, and if you use Chrome all the time, you may be hit before Adobe and Google have a new version out.
– via www.macintouch.com

 

You can use Google Chrome, judiciously, to view a Flash video if you absolutely have to do so. That is what I will be doing in the future.

Even though I have been thinking about removing Flash for a while I am thankful for this persons online input that has nudged me to do so.

Conslusion

There is tons of evidence online about the total insecurity of the Flash plugin. I highly recommend that you do a test uninstall to at least see if you can get along without it.

Doug

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