What is Java, Shockwave and Flash?

Java is a programming language and a computing platform that is used, in the form of Java applets and Java-script, as a scripting language which can be embedded into HTML. It is known for its speed, reliability and for being secured.

Shockwave is a powerful multimedia playback platform that allows users to view interactive web contents such as business presentation, games, advertisements, entertainment from any web browser. It is also used to add interactivity and animation to web pages.

Flash is a program that is run to help you make vector images and have them used in web pages. It interprets and reconstructs the data rather than save it which allows Flash to compress files. Meanwhile, a Flash Player is a program that allows you to view high-impact, rich Web content designs and animations and application across all browsers and platforms.

How to check whether your system has Java, Shockwave and /or Flash support?

To verify whether your system has Java, Shockwave and/or Flash support, you need to follow a few simple steps.

  • To test for Java:
    o First, you need to go to http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp;
    o On the page, look for the red button “Verify Java Version”;
    o After clicking, wait for the security prompt and then click “Run” to allow the verification process to continue;
    o If instead of the security prompt you will find a banner with the message “Java(TM) is required to display some elements of this page” “Install Plugin”, it simply means that you do not have Java enabled in your system and you need to click the “Install Plug-in” to begin the installation process;
    o After the installation process is completed, restart your computer and repeat the process;
    o If Java is already installed and enabled in your system, you will find a page that displays the information and details of the Java installed in your computer.
  • To test for Shockwave:
    o First, you need to visit http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/welcome/;
    o You will find a “Test Adobe Shockwave Player” page.
    o If you see animation playing on the box provided, it means that Shockwave is installed and is enabled in your system.
    o However, if no animation is playing and instead you find a banner with a message that you need to install or upgrade your version of shockwave, it means that Shockwave is either not installed and enabled or is outdated that it does not match with the current requirements and needs to be updated.
  • To Test for Flash / Flash Player:
    o On the same page, http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/welcome/, clink the link “Test your Adobe Flash Player Installation” ;
    o Wait for the page to open which will tell you the Flash Player version that is installed and enabled in your system or a message that it did not find any Flash Player installed, in which case you need to install one to enable Flash support in your system.

Why do I need Java, Shockwave and Flash support?

You definitely need Java, Shockwave and Flash support in order to fully enjoy the power of your system and to be able to run and watch graphics, animations, applications and designs in your system. Remember, that there are a lot of websites and applications that will not work unless Java is installed and enabled in your system.

What can be done to reduce security risk of Java?

While Java is also known for its security risks and the need to have it disabled, there are also ways to reduce the risk of compromising your security. The following may be done reduce Java security risk:

  • Install the latest Java and remove older versions installed on your system.
  • Set security level settings in Java Control Panel to notify you before applications are run.
  • Java 7 allows you to confirm action before allowing Java content to run in the browser.
  • Enable automatic updates.
  • Clear Java cache periodically.
  • Never allow applications from unknown publishers to run in your system.