[SOON] Google Chrome to Block Adobe Flash
A majority of the online industry would love to see Adobe Flash die once and for all, including yours truly. Google is driving another nail into Flash’s coffin in the near future; the Chrome browser will soon begin blocking Flash content by default on all but a few major websites. Here's what you need to know, and do...
What To Do When Google Chrome Blocks Flash
In my recent article Adobe Flash - The Last Straw? I encouraged AskBob readers to remove or disable the Adobe Flash player, because it's an open door for malware to attack your computer. Now, Google is promising to block the Flash player in their Chrome browser, sometime before the end of the year. https://goo.gl/pxi4Bt
For users, this means the rectangular windows where Flash content normally would appear will be filled by a grey box containing a jigsaw puzzle piece. “Plugin disabled” will indicate that Chrome is deliberately blocking content. However, you can still use Flash on any site, if you accept the risks involved.
Chrome will display a prompt asking if you want to run Flash on this particular site. Chrome will remember your answer and do the same on each visit to that site. So over the long haul, you will still be in control of Flash and your browser options.
There will be a few exceptions to the rule. Only ten sites on the entire Web will have Flash enabled by default. They are some of the best known brands, with good track records of maintaining the security of their servers. Amazon, Facebook, Live.com, Twitch.tv and Yahoo and YouTube are on the "whitelist" but they'll only have a one year exemption. The rest of the Web will be treated as “untrustworthy,” at least as far as Flash content goes.
The signal that Google is sending to users and Web designers is simple: “Flash has got to die!” Not a month goes by without Adobe announcing a new, never-seen-before flaw in Flash, one that can lead to compromised accounts. Another Flash zero-day exploit and its patch were just announced on May 14. Flash is a bottomless pit of software bugs, continually endangering the security of everyone online. It has got to go.
Choice and Risk
Google is making a stab at pleasing everyone with its forthcoming Flash policy. The sites that are exempt from the changes to Flash include large, trusted companies that probably have a heavy dependence on Flash for their site design, at the moment. So they get a pass for now; But Google has set a one-year deadline for ending its forbearance.
Last year, the Firefox browser temporarily blocked Flash, but no longer does so. If you use Firefox and have the Adobe Flash player plugin, my recommendation is still to uninstall or disable it. If you cannot or will not stop using Flash, at the very least you should use the "Ask to Activate" setting. My article Adobe Flash - The Last Straw? explains the risks in detail, and gives instructions for disabling Flash in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
I'll repeat the warning I gave last month: If you allow your browser to play Flash content by right-clicking on that grey box with the jigsaw puzzle piece, you're still taking a risk. There's no guarantee that Flash content will run safely, even on a trusted website.
Users can still have Flash if they really want it; the hoops through which they must jump are pretty easy, really. But hopefully, that tiny bit of work will prompt many users to forego Flash and send a message to site operators: “Get rid of Flash or your traffic will drop.”
Making the use of Flash a conscious choice for the user, requiring at least one small action, is a good start on killing Flash. People tend to stick with default settings that require the least exercise from them. Hopefully, sites that use Flash unnecessarily will soon see drops in traffic directly attributable to visitors’ inability or unwillingness to interact with Flash. When that message sinks in, you’ll soon see Flash content replaced by HTML5 embedded videos.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 2 Jun 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [SOON] Google Chrome to Block Adobe Flash (Posted: 2 Jun 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved