We all know about the threat posed by cyber criminals. However, most people tend to think that they are safe, mainly as a result of the whole, “It won’t happen to me” line of thinking. We install a good antivirus and think that we are safe.

Unfortunately, viruses are not the only thing that can harm your computer. Non-updated apps, unavoidably, have security holes in them, also known as vulnerabilities. Cyber criminals can use these vulnerabilities in order to attack your computer or gain access to it, and to the information contained on it. Their methods constantly update themselves faster than patches can be released.

Here is a list of 5 popular Desktop apps that threaten your online security, so you’ll know not to ignore that update request next time:

1. Google Chrome

Chrome is the most popular web browser by far with almost 68% popularity rates at its highest, according to w3schools. However, despite having the solid name of Google behind it, it is not completely safe. In their defense, Google does reward people who find and report vulnerabilities, trying to keep their browser secure. In 2015 Google Chrome had a whopping 187 vulnerabilities, and that’s not even its record number. Although 2016 has only begun, 11 vulnerabilities have already been found, and the number will only rise with time. There are a few things you can do to make your Chrome experience safer though.

2.  Mozilla Firefox

It is the second most popular web browser with 23% popularity at its peak. 2015 was the worst year for Firefox with a staggering 178 vulnerabilities found in the browser. An all-time high for them, although only one point of vulnerability was found in 2016 so far.

3. Acrobat Reader

The popular PDF reader also has previous for vulnerabilities. Adobe generally is not known as a secure company, but in 2015, 129 vulnerabilities were found in this program alone. And although we are only two months into this year, 17 vulnerabilities were already discovered. A negative record.

4. Oracle Java Runtime Environment

Almost everybody with an internet browser uses Java. This also means that everyone is vulnerable, and they probably know it. Java is notorious for security problems. It is highly targeted by cyber criminals. In fact one of its biggest problems is its lack of automatic update. People fear Java updates as once a fake Java update was used in order to install malware on computers. 2015 was not a good year for Java. They released 4 Critical Patch Updates, which included an incredible 614 security fixes. They started 2016 with a January Critical Patch Update which includes 248 security fixes, not a great start.

5.  Adobe Flash Player & Plugin

Yes, it is Adobe yet again. 2015 was a particularly bad year for Flash Player with 314 vulnerabilities, leaving everyone else far behind. This is a more than 3-times increase from their 76 vulnerabilities in 2014. In 2015 a new vulnerability exposed users to an increased risk of having their computers crash, or losing control over them. Until a patch was released the only solution was to simply delete the program. Also Mozilla Firefox blacklisted it for a while, and still doesn’t recommend using it.

It is always important to make sure that your desktop apps are updated to try and prevent cyber criminals from gaining accesses to your computer and personal information. There will always be more vulnerabilities than patches so make sure to have an updated anti-virus to further protect your computer from anyone trying to gain access to it.

Many of the leading antivirus products will automatically scan your operating system and the software you have installed to ensure that you are running the latest updated versions. Check out our antivirus reviews for more details about the protection offered by our featured brands.

Julia Thomas
Julia is known for creating trusted computer systems, and correcting technical issues. Julia enjoys taking her computer systems knowledge and turning it into valuable content to help users make great decisions. After work you’ll usually catch her enjoying a nice dinner with friends or watching a good movie.
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  • Garnett Fair

    No sense in lieing since IE is the most trusted and by far the best browser online with proof from Microsoft.Chrome you get more virus’ than any and mazilla-firefox is not wanted by only afew so fw they did away with firfox so let that tell you something there and I see that about everyone has IE and never screw around with the disease browsers!!