By now you may have heard of all the warnings and bad things that can happen if you have Java installed on your computer, like having your credit card or other personal data stolen, identity theft, and spyware installed on your computer after you are redirected to certain sites. Even Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning in January to disable Java. This is rather unusual because DHS doesn’t usually go around telling people what they should remove from their computers.
- Java is an OOP programming language while Java Script is an OOP scripting language.
- They require different plug-ins.
chrome://plugins, click Disable and then restart the browser. In Firefox go to Add-ons, locate Java platform, disable it and restart the browser. In Internet Explorer it is not easy to disable Java. In fact, even if you go to Java Web site and check if you have Java installed in Internet Explorer, don’t believe it as gospel truth. You can read this InfoWorld article for more information: Disabling Java in Internet Explorer: No easy task. Frankly, besides Internet Explorer, other browsers can also lie and tell you that Java is not installed, when it is.
The security warning issued by DHS was related to all versions of Java 7 through Update 10. Java 7 Update 11 sets the default Java security settings to “High” so that users will be prompted before running unsigned or self-signed Java applets. The latest version is of today is Java 7 Update 13. With all the issues with Java I believe it is best to disable Java altogether on all the browsers. Period!
NOTE: Even after Oracle claimed that they have fixed the problem that prompted DHS to issue a security warning, DHS still insisted that we should disable Java.
Disabling Java in Internet Explorer
NOTE: On 64-bit Windows computers you can also get to the Java Control Panel by using this command at Start, Run: c:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\javacpl.exe. On 32-bit Windows computers, use the following command: c:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javacpl.exe.
Windows XP: Go to Control Panel and double-click to open the Java Control Panel.
Disabling Java on Macs
Possible Consequences of Disabling Java
The potential drawback of disabling Java can be that some Web sites won’t display menus properly, or you may not be able to see the stock prices, weather updates or some ads. Frankly, most of us don’t care about this stuff. Even if you do, in my opinion disabling Java far outweighs the benefits of seeing ads or weather updates on different sites.
TIP: If you must use Java because you feel your life is completely miserable without Java and you had some great luck skiing in the avalanche season and skating on thin ice then enable Java in the latest version of Chrome or Firefox, rather than Internet Explorer, because they give you more control on when to run Java on specific pages.
Have I experienced any negative consequences by disabling Java in all three of my browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome)?
Microsoft recently posted this Knowledge Base article 2588513: Vulnerability in SSL/TLS could allow information disclosure. The actual Security Advisory is posted here. According to the advisory:
“Microsoft is aware of detailed information that has been published describing a new method to exploit a vulnerability in SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0, affecting the Windows operating system. This vulnerability affects the protocol itself and is not specific to the Windows operating system. This is an information disclosure vulnerability that allows the decryption of encrypted SSL/TLS traffic. This vulnerability primarily impacts HTTPS traffic, since the browser is the primary attack vector, and all web traffic served via HTTPS or mixed content HTTP/HTTPS is affected. We are not aware of a way to exploit this vulnerability in other protocols or components and we are not aware of attacks that try to use the reported vulnerability at this time. Considering the attack scenario, this vulnerability is not considered high risk to customers.”
There are at least two mitigating factors:
Microsoft offers the following workaround. In Windows 7, disable the TLS 1.0 protocol and enable TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 because they are not affected. Unfortunately, in Windows XP the Internet Explorer doesn’t offer TLS 1.1, or TLS 1.2.
NOTE: Neither Mozilla Firefox nor Chrome supports TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2. Therefore, your best bet is to use Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7 or Opera 10, which also supports TLS 1.2.
In Internet Explorer 9, go to Tools, Internet options, and on the Advanced tab clear the TLS 1.0 check box and select the TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 check boxes. Your screen should look something like this.
Does Fix It Really Fixes Things?
If you use the Fix it solution in the KB article that automatically creates a restore point and then supposedly fixes the problem, you will notice that it DOES NOT clear the TLS 1.0 box. I am not sure why when the entire hoopla has to do with TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0 in the first place. All it does is enable TLS 1.1. Perhaps enabling TLS 1.1 takes precedence and therefore TLS 1.0 is not used but I don’t feel comfortable using any scripts or wizards created by a vendor because there is no way for me to know exactly what the wizard does behind the scenes. Besides, I have been burned in the past by one of Microsoft’s wizard that installs a security template so I am pretty hesitant when it comes to wizards. I’d much rather make the change manually so I can reverse the process manually if necessary.
One challenge that you might have to face is whether the Web sites you visit support TLS 1.1 and later or not. Until there is a solution (remember this is only a workaround) I would rather implement the workaround just to be on the safe side and take my chances with Web sites not supporting the newer version of TLS.
As a best practice, always sign out of the Web site and then close your browser to ensure that your SSL/TLS session is properly terminated.
Today I noticed the following error when I tried to create a new library in SharePoint 2010. I am running SharePoint Server 2010 and was using IE9 on my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 client.
Error: An unhandled exception occurred in the Silverlight Application
Here’s how I was able to resolve the problem.
There is no need to restart any services, browser, or your computer. Your change should take effect immediately.
I recently noticed that I was unable to open PDF files in SharePoint 2010 when I used Internet Explorer 9. I didn’t have the same problem in Mozilla Firefox 5. If you have encountered similar problem, here’s one solution that might help you.
Once in a while IE9 I start to have the same problem again where I am unable to open PDF files in IE9. I simply go back and check the box I mentioned in step 3 and apply the changes. Then I go back and clear the box once again and IE9 finally gets the clue and will allow me to open the PDF files again.
By the way, the IE9 problems are more wide spread than most people realize. For those of you who believe that IE9 is the most problematic browser Microsoft has ever released, I think you have a point. Even Microsoft has issues with IE9 compatibility. Here’s one example.
Post updated on February 27, 2012
If you go to Google or Bank of America’s Web site you will notice that your browser displays a custom logo to the left of the URL. It’s nice to have a custom icon or logo for a SharePoint 2010 site so when visitors add the site to their Favorites in Internet Explorer or Bookmarks in Mozilla Firefox it displays the custom icon/logo. I wrote about this last year but in this blog I have added numerous troubleshooting tips that will come handy. You can follow the procedure described below to change the browser icon for a SharePoint 2010 site.
There may be other methods of achieving this but this is the method that I use. The procedure is very simple but it requires you to use SharePoint Designer 2010. The good news is that SharePoint Designer 2010 is a free download from Microsoft. The bad news is that if you don’t know what you are doing you can completely destroy your site by “messing” with your site in SharePoint Designer.
WARNING! Always backup your site before you make any modifications to your site in SharePoint Designer 2010.
NOTE: If you are working with a standard HTML-based Web site (not a SharePoint site) then all you have to do is copy the favicon.ico file to the root of the Web site, e.g. wwwroot folder, and your icon will be displayed automatically. The root folder is where your home or index file is located. There is no need to edit any files.
If your icon is not displaying properly, here are some troubleshooting tips.
Copyright © 2013 Zubair Alexander. All rights reserved.
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