Adobe Flash Player is one of those programs that everybody has – and needs – but nobody really thinks about too much. If you’re reading this then you most likely already have it installed. If not, you may have a pretty hard time viewing the featured image right now. Moreover, you’re also not likely to view any Youtube videos or most other multimedia content until you download it. Luckily, it’s free and you can get it directly from Adobe’s website. But what is it? In short, Adobe Flash Player is a web browser plug-in (or standalone app) that supports a wide variety of multimedia formats and streaming protocols and allows your browser to run them while you’re on the internet. These formats include MP3, JPEG, PNG, FLV, and GIF while streaming protocols can be anything ranging from HTTP to TCP.
In other words, you may have a difficult time watching videos or listening to music online unless your browsers has the necessary tools to support those activities. And that’s where Adobe Flash Player comes in. As mentioned, most people don’t really think about it, but every now and again your browser will remind you that you have it. This reminder is usually accompanied by a message saying that a new version is available and that you should update as soon as possible. Make sure you do it otherwise you might not be able to enjoy certain content, although most will still work with older versions of Adobe Flash Player as well. But I’d advise you to update to the latest version just in case. Plus, it’s fast and free, so why not?
However, I do need to mention that there have been instances in the past when people got infected with malicious software or have been the victims of phishing when trying to update. This usually happens when you’re casually browsing the internet and you’re diverted to a page that says something along the lines of “Warning! Your Adobe Flash Player may be out of date. Please update to continue.” If you don’t want to fall victim to malware make sure you always download the latest update from the official website. The best thing to do would be to close the pop-up and search for Adobe’s website on Google. Also, a good antivirus would certainly help as it would block the fake website before you have the chance to click on anything over there.
The latest version of the software, Adobe Flash Player 16, brings a variety of fixes for security issues and bugs that were known to leave your machine vulnerable to attacks in version 15 and prior, so make sure you go download it for free if you haven’t already. Also available on mobile devices.