Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Adobe has updated Flash player. It has an important change to how future updates work, as well as perhaps something that should be AVOIDED at all costs.
Adobe recently pushed an update of its Flash Player - 11.2.
There's nothing really new about that. Flash has become a critical component of a lot of websites, and until HTML5 becomes more pervasive, it's the primary technology that allows videos to be embedded on websites.
Unfortunately, Flash has a history of software bugs and vulnerabilities, such that it requires periodic update.
This new version of Flash allows you to modify the way it is updated.
Unfortunately, I'm hearing reports of something less helpful that's tagging along for the ride.
You've probably already encountered the popup from Adobe's Flash updater program that tells you there's a new version available and would you like to install it now or later?
Choose to do it now. Accept the license agreement and click INSTALL.
Once the install is complete, you'll be shown the dialog above which allows you to tell Flash how to update in the future.
Install updates automatically. Adobe Flash will just keep itself updated automatically. It's unclear if you'll be notified, but I'm hoping that this will work much like Google Chrome, which silently and automatically keeps itself updated. I recommend this option.
Notify me when updates are available. This essentially leaves Flash's update behavior unchanged. You'll be notified when updates are available and given the choice of when to install them.
Never check for updates. I strongly recommend that you not choose this, as doing so may well leave your computer vulnerable when new security issues are found in Flash.
Make your choice, click DONE, and you're done.
Or are you?
Let's be clear: at this point you are done with Adobe Flash. It's installed, it's up to date.
If you are offered an additional download at this point in the process, do not take it - it has nothing to do with Adobe Flash. As I said, when you've reached this point, you're done and Adobe Flash has been updated.
For the record, I was not offered this download when I updated Flash this morning. Perhaps it's not offered to everyone, perhaps different products are offered, perhaps Adobe got the message in the last 48 hours that what they're offering is ... well, to be honest, it's offensive; there's really no other word for it.
Pushing unrelated software is one thing. Pushing unrelated software that tries to scare people in to purchasing something that they don't need is just wrong.
I've written about this before, but rarely has it been this blatant.
Watch and understand what it is you're installing. Avoid optional downloads unless you know that they're something you want and would, indeed, purchase yourself.
Remember that a free trial is just that - a trial. Once the trial expires, you will be asked to purchase the product.
Remember that a free scan is just that - a scan. A free scan will look for problems - it will not fix them. That's the next step, which requires purchase of a product.
Adobe's latest critical security update pushes scareware, Ed Bott, ZDNet
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