Is Java Safe To Download And Install?


In the last 15 years, java has become the most popular language in the enterprise world. Due to its popularity, the chances of security threats have also been increased. Therefore, many people want to know “Is java safe to download?”

Although the Java platform gives utmost importance to security, poorly written codes and third-party libraries make it vulnerable to security attacks. So, here we’ll try to find out these loopholes that make java unsafe to download.

Is Java Safe To Download?

Java is safe to download when you download it from a trusted website and use the updated version. On the other hand, older versions can certainly pose security vulnerabilities. Therefore, it’s important to keep your version of Java updated at all times in order to keep your system safe.

Where Do I Go To Download Java Safely?

Before going into the details of security vulnerabilities, let me give you a one-line answer to this question. The legitimate Java plug-in is safe to download and install when you download it from https://java.com/en/.

On the other hand, when you try to download it from other websites, they use fake pop-up windows, and they trap you to download software that is not java. So, when you download it from the official website, it’s safe to download and install, and when you do it from fake websites, it becomes unsafe.

Problems with Java

Java has become popular and widespread; therefore, it’s a popular and easy target for attack. Java is designed for maximum compatibility; thus, it runs on many devices.

It’s not only used in computers, but it’s also used in printers, lottery devices, Java-powered Blu-ray players, and much more. Due to its wide use, it’s more prone to security attacks.

The biggest concern for people is the use of Java on desktop.

Moreover, it doesn’t get updated by itself. It asks the users to install updates when the update is available.

Another problem with java is it only checks for updates once a week or a month. So many security vulnerabilities make it dangerous for users during this time.

Many people see the update but ignore it and keep using an outdated version of java. Moreover, regular updates frustrate users, and they ignore the latest updates.

Some users install the latest version but leave the outdated version as it is, so their systems become vulnerable to attack.

Do I Need to Uninstall Older Versions of Java from Computer?

We recommend using the latest version of Java and uninstalling older versions from your systems. As mentioned earlier, older versions pose a severe security risk.

Is Java More Secured than Other Languages?

When Java is compared with other programming languages, it looks more secure. We’re saying this because of the following reasons:

  • Java compiler: The Java compiler catches more errors. And more importantly, it doesn’t allocate memory directly. Moreover, it doesn’t reference the memory used by other applications and programs.
  • Access modifiers: They prevent unintentional overriding and provide additional security.
  • Memory management: Own memory management system of java clears the memory in the program. This feature eliminates the memory management headache.
  • Bytecode verification: This fantastic feature of the java platform verifies the Bytecode before running. Moreover, it eliminates the threats of running malicious code.
  • Pointers: Pointers give direct access to a memory location, so java doesn’t support pointers.

How to Protect Yourself from Attacks?

Java is safe to install, but still, you need to take some measures to stay safe.

  • Keep yourself updated: Ensure that you’re aware of the latest security risks. When you keep yourself updated, it helps you to remain safe.
  • Use secure coding principles: It’s the developer’s responsibility to write flawless code. When you follow coding principles, you can eliminate the security vulnerabilities. Some secure coding principles are given below:
  1. Verify all the untrusted inputs. Moreover, use a white list instead of a blacklist.
  2. Plan the security early and don’t leave it to the end.
  3. Conduct security audits.
  4. Try to keep the code simple.
  5. Ensure that experienced developers review the code.
  6. Be aware of buffer overflows
  7. Use your own crypto algorithms.
  8. It’s better to use character sequences for passwords because strings stay in the memory for a long time.

These principles can help you remain safe.

Conclusion

Yes, it is safe when you download it from the trusted websites and use the updated version. On the other hand, older versions pose security vulnerabilities. So, keep yourself updated and use java.

If you want to learn how to program with Java, check out these 10 awesome Java projects for beginners. There is a full video tutorial that walks you through each project, step-by-step. And it’s absolutely FREE!

Tim Statler

Tim Statler is a Computer Science student at Governors State University and the creator of Comp Sci Central. He lives in Crete, IL with his wife, Stefanie, and their cats, Beyoncé and Monte. When he's not studying or writing for Comp Sci Central, he's probably just hanging out or making some delicious food.

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