Doug likes to visit the Aviation Weather Service online, but he's been having trouble with it lately. Leo says that's because it uses Java and the Java browser plugin has probably been disabled. Doug should go into his browser settings and be sure it's installed, updated, and enabled. But it's getting harder to use Java in the browser. If he has Firefox version 52 or higher, or Chrome 42 or higher, or even Safari, the plugin would have been disabled for security reasons. So his only choice may be to use Internet Explorer for that site. He'll have to turn on scripting for Java apps.
Kristi is having trouble with Firefox loading. Leo says it's likely a problem with an extension. She should start up Firefox without the extensions, and it's likely it'll start right up. If it does, then she'll know it's a bad extension. Would that also cause Java not to work? Leo says that no, that's a separate issue, and every browser has a "Disable Java" option. Another thing to try is resetting Firefox with this how-to at tomsguide.com.
George wants to know if he should update his Java? Is it OK to update? Jason says that it's often OK to ignore them, but if it's an important security update, or if it's required for him to use a website, then it's a good idea to stay updated. It's definitely safer security wise to do so. But Jason also recommends getting rid of Java altogether. When in doubt, though, always go directly to Oracle to get updates. That way he'll know it's always official.
Gloria uses Windows 7 and she's confused whether she uses Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials. Leo says that for Windows 7, she'll need Security Essentials. But it was renamed to Windows Defender for Windows 10. She can get Microsoft Security Essentials at support.microsoft.com to download it.
Carlos is getting a popup telling him he's been hacked. He's got OS X Lion on his Mac. Leo says that there's a new thing called "ScareWare" which makes people think they have been hacked or have a virus and it won't let them exit the browser until they call a number. But in reality, it's just a popup that's designed to scare people into calling so that they can convince them to install a remote app that will allow the to do something to "fix" it.
Nick's uncle has a bunch of certifications and wants to map out what people make all over the country to figure out what he's worth. Leo says that using Google Maps API can do that without having to buy any mapping data. It will require knowing Java to do it. Google has training at developers.google.com/maps and there's also a tutorial of how to do it at w3schools.com/googleapi.
Oracle is suing Google for 9.3 Billion over the use of Java in the Android operating system. Java was written by Sun Microsystems which had been acquired by Oracle. The claim is that Google borrowed a little too liberally from Java in the Android operating system. Google claims they did clean room development, and merely figured out what Java expected from the software running it, and duplicated the API, or the programming interface. Oracle says their API was copyrighted. The whole computer industry relies on APIs, though, and the ability to use similar interfaces.
Phillip has a Motorola Moto G through Cricket and he's been playing with his phone and put it into a Java runtime mode called ART. Leo says that's a fiddler. He'll have to go through a lot of hoops to go into developer mode and change that. Now he's getting a lot of error messages. Leo says he's done that on several Android devices and it sounds like it needs to be manually reset.
Kirk downloaded a Java upgrade and now all his shortcuts go to an exe file. Leo suspects that Kirk got nailed by malware.There are plenty of security flaws in Java but it may also be that Kirk was doing something at the same time and he got malware. Either way, Kirk has malware, and the only way to be sure that he's gotten rid of it, is to backup his data, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known good source.
Mark hears that when downloading Java, junkware downloads with it. Leo says that Java is now being bundled with adware, so he should make sure he unchecks the option. Better yet, he shouldn't download and install Java unless he needs it.
He should also make sure that it doesn't load automatically in his browser, which is a security issue. Java uses Kommodia, which actually breaks the encryption technology of a browser. So Marks' wife should remove it immediately.