Browser features to stop attacks that use Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash is a very common piece of software and is likely on all of our machines. This software is very powerful and allows websites to show animations, videos, or just a really neat interactive website. Adobe Flash also is leveraged by attackers as one of the most common ways to compromise your computer, most often seen with malicious banner ads on the side of your browser screen when visiting commonly used websites.

There are several tools available in your web browser to stop flash from running automatically but still allows you to run it, if you choose, by a quick click or two. These options also have a website list you can add to so Flash will always run when you visit those sites. Let’s talk about how to enable these options for three of the most popular web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

Chrome

Enabling this option will pop up a generic puzzle piece icon instead of loading a plugin, like Adobe Flash.

  • To enable this feature to go Chrome Settings. You can do this by typing “chrome://settings/” in your URL bar.
  • Click “Show advanced settings…” at the bottom of the screen.
  • Click the “Content Settings…” button under the Privacy section
  • Go to Plug-ins and select “Let me choose when to run plugin content”
  • Have a site you always use that runs Flash? You can enter the site by selecting the “Manage exceptions” button under the Privacy section to automatically load Flash on that site.

FireFox

What about FireFox users? You’ll need to install something like Flashblock extension

Internet Explorer

What about Internet Explorer users? This option is available but buried in menu’s a bit.

  • Click the gear icon on Internet Explorer’s toolbar
  • Select Manage Add-ons
  • Select Toolbars and Extensions
  • Click Show box and select all add-ons
  • Right click the “Shockwave Flash Object” plug-in under Adobe Systems Incorporated
  • Click the Remove all sites button.
  • Now you’ll get a banner pop-up at the bottom of your screen when Flash wants to load.

Use the down arrow next to “Allow” to “Allow Always” on sites you know trust and visit often.