Protecting Your Mac from Java Menace

uninstall java on macEveryone knows that Apple gadgets are extremely efficient and productive. Still, the question “How to make your Mac run faster?” tops many users’ agenda. Everything comes into play here: ‘speed-up’ apps, various optimizers, hardware upgrades and so on and so forth.

The issue of using Java on Macs is quite significant in this context. No doubt, there are plenty of useful programs on Java, so sooner or later your Mac will be filled with Java stuff. Yet, it is time to estimate the usefulness of Java amid security concerns: every day we get news about hackers using Apple and Oracle’s breaches of security, which throws into question the reliability of Java.

One may say that removing Java from Mac is crushing a fly up the wheel, though it is clear that using Java make your device more vulnerable. Remember: almost all hack attacks use Java and Flash breaches in the web browser of your computer.

Another side of the coin is Mac’s performance: if you think that Java plays a great role in speeding up your Mac, then think again. It is vital to strain every nerve and isolate Java or remove it completely to make your mac faster.

Of course, it is easier said than done, and many people may face various stumbling blocks in the process. You will find a step-by-step guide on how to avoid them below. In case you do not want to remove Java, do not forget to update it asap when new updates appear.

Why removing Java can be considered a sound solution

Java applications are more sophisticated than they look: Java creates a whole environment, a Java Virtual Machine, and any Java program will run in JVM, no matter what is the platform of the computer. Simply put, such apps run separately from the operating system. There are flaws in this system; hackers find them and use them to their advantage.

Malicious codes inserted in the program will give access to processes and information stored on your computer. Turning up the heat, Java apps do not ask user’s permission to operate. If a hacker finds a breach in the sandbox that JVM creates for Java apps, simple Internet browsing will give your computer to his command.

Java Menace on mac

The showcase example is a “watering hole” attack, when hackers used web browsers to get to the contents of the computers of Apple’s, Twitter and Facebook employees. No one knew the origins of the breach, so antivirus software was not able to spot and disable it. So how can you protect your device?

Removing Java

The most effective and at the same time the most radical way to untangle the deadlock of Java vulnerabilities is to remove Java from Mac. As a result, some websites won’t operate normally on your device; however, it shouldn’t be a big deal as there are just a few of such web pages. Millions of other sites will still work perfectly well.

Another repercussion of removing Java is the inability to use some helpful programs. However, you can always find a substitute, or you can isolate Java instead of removing it. First, check if there is Java installed on your Mac. Launch terminal and run java –version’ command. If the version is 1.6 or 1.7, find /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/ directory and delete it.

Java 7 can be removed with the help of these lines:

  • sudo rm -rf “/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin”
  • sudo rm -rf “/Library/PreferencePanes/JavaControlPanel.prefpane”

How to isolate Java?

Isolating Java means that it will work on your Mac everywhere except your browser. Keep in mind that you will have to repeat this procedure every month as Apple by default updates the browser monthly.

Mac OS supplies Java 6, so to isolate it in Google Chrome you will have to type ‘chrome://plugins’ in the address bar and disable Java there. For Safari, search for Preferences and uncheck Enable Java. Firefox keeps information about Java in Tools section. Go there and find Add-Ons, subsection Plugins.

It is advisable to leave Java active in one browser, which you could launch whenever there is a need to visit a website that uses Java.

Do not underestimate dangers that Java brings; protect yourself by constricting Java use on your Mac.