I keep getting a pop up wanting me to download flash player. I am told that this is full of malware, do not download. How do I get rid of the pop up? I have run "uninstall flash player" but this doesn't stop it. I am on an iMac running OS 10.14.2, and use Safari as a browser.
In terms of why you're getting this pop-up, it's hard to know without seeing it. I don't have enough detail to give you useful advice.
Without actually seeing the problem, there are a couple things that I would recommend:
Here's some general guidance around updates:
As an industry, we've done a pretty good job of defending against technical attacks that allow bad guys to install software without your authorization. In 2019, it's really difficult to do (assuming you're running a modern operating system and not something from 2005, in which case, you should get on that).
The result is that human factors are now the path of least resistance. It's easier to trick you into installing something on behalf of the attacker, vs. figuring out how to defeat all of the security stuff required to do it without your express permission.
In general, you're better off setting everything to update automatically. You can then go through life assuming that any update notifications you get are bogus. This is actually what we strongly recommend, and it generally applies to anything tasked with handing untrusted communication (the operating system, your web browser, flash player, etc.). The inconvenience of something functional breaking because of an update pales in comparison to the pain of recovering from identity theft.
Here are a few guidelines that will minimize your risk of getting tricked into installing malware:
- Wherever possible, use your operating system's App Store for downloading and updating software
- When software you want (like Flash Player) isn't available from the App Store for your operating system, always navigate directly to the vendor's website. If you need to search for the download, that's cool -- but avoid "download" sites, and find the vendor's actual download link
- Never download stuff from a link in an email or update dialog. Type it in. It's easy to disguise fake URLs in links using internationalized characters and things (e is not the same as è, but it might be really easy to miss if you're not looking closely). If it's a link from a URL shortener
service like tinyurl.com/abcde or bit.ly/abcde, you don't know what the end result is going to be, and you're probably wise to just head to Google to find what you need instead.
- When the software offers automatic updates, just turn them on and stop worrying about maintaining all the moving parts running on your computer. The threat landscape is so much different than it was 10-15 years ago. Enable updates so that you're getting critical patches as soon as they become available. Be confident that any subsequent update notifications are probably fake, and act accordingly (either ignore them, or consult the vendor for guidance before doing anything).
For Flash Player specifically:
Always download Flash Player from here: https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
When you install, choose the default option of "Allow Adobe to Install Updates (recommended)", and we'll keep it updated for you.
Google Chrome ships Flash Player as a built-in component, and keeps it updated automatically. There's nothing separate to download, install or configure.
Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer on Windows 8 and higher also include Flash Player as a built-in component of their browser, and updates are handled automatically through Windows Update. Again, as long as Windows Update is enabled, there's nothing to download or configure.