Java Update Prompt

Dear Computer Lady.

Thanks for all the help you give us.

My question today is that a little screen pops up and says “A program needs your permission to continue”
and inside it says “JAVA automatic update: JAVA ™ Se Runtime Environment Sun Microsystems, Inc.”

I let one program that popped up on continue and had so much trouble, we had to have the computer worked on.

What is the above and would it be safe to let it continue? So far, I just have canceled it.

Thanks for your help, Terry from Fairmont MN

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Dear Terry,

Last year at this time, I would have told you that Java updates are perfectly fine and to go ahead with the update, but with the recent explosion of malware programs pretending to be something legitimate, I am changing my advice.

Don’t get me wrong, Java is still a safe program, and it is safe to download updates for Java. I just can’t tell you if the little popup you are getting on your screen is the real thing. There are so many malware programs that try to immitate legitimate programs, that sometimes I am not sure if a pop-up is the real thing or not.

First, let me explain what Java is, and then I will tell you the one safe way to be sure you are downloading the right thing.

Java is software for your computer that is sometimes called Java Runtime, Java Virtual Machine, or just Virtual Machine. It is created by Sun Microsystems.

Java is used to create small programs that are embedded in web pages. These programs allow you to play online games, chat with people, and use online utilities like mortgage calculators. Google Maps uses Java, and the online games at pogo.com also use Java. Even my Amazon Kindle uses Java!

So, how can you safely update your Java software?

Go directly to the Java website and download it from there.

First, go to www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp

Look for the big red button that says, “Free Java Download” don’t click on it just yet, instead click on the small link under the button that says, “Do I have Java?”.

Wait for a moment while a check is done on your system to see if you have Java, and what version is installed. If you don’t have the latest version, you will see a message telling you what version you do have installed, and you will be able to click on the big “Download Java Now” button.

Once again the website will check your computer, and tell you what version of Java is recommended for your computer. Click on the red button that says, “Free Java Download”.

Now, click “Run” and follow the prompts to install the program. You will have to close your browser in order to start the instalation.

Elizabeth

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