Two simple ways to disable Adobe Flash Player

Over the past few months we have seen an increased threat from Flash exploits. I’ve personally received many emails asking me how individuals and businesses should go about stopping the Flash browser threat. If you use Firefox or Internet Explorer 7 (this does not include version 8.0) you can disable Flash whenever you need to. I’ve found two browser add-ons that are very useful Flash management tools. Here are the two applications (add-ons) I’m recommending:

NoScript – Firefox

To install the Firefox application called ‘NoScript‘:

  • Open the Firefox browser
  • Click ‘Tools’ then ‘add-ons’
  • Click ‘Get add-ons’ then click ‘browser ALL add-ons’ (this will open a new browser TAB)
  • Search for ‘NoScript’
  • Alternatively, you can download directly from this page:
The cons

  • technical knowledge is required as most end-users don’t know what ‘scripts’ are
  • user has to right click a web page to enable or disable scripts – would be useful to have a toolbar
  • if flash is disabled for example, nothing shows the user why? Some intructional web text would be useful
  • doesn’t include a ‘nobrowser’ extension integrated into a ‘NoScript’ toobar

Toggle Flash – Internet Explorer 7.0

To install the Internet Explorer application called ‘Toggle Flash‘:

Download here:

To install the Internet Explorer application called ‘Toggle Flash‘:

  • Open Internet Explorer and click the Toggle Flash button to toggle/disable Flash. If the Toggle Flash button does not appear on the Toolbar, either unlock and resize the Toolbar or customize the Toolbar and add the button
  • Since Toggle Flash is currently unsigned, an Internet Explorer Security window might appear. If it does, check “Do not show me the warning for this program again” and click Allow to prevent the Internet Explorer Security window from reappearing

The cons

  • Doesn’t work with IE 8.0
  • No options menu i.e. website whitelist; additional restrictions for untrusted sites; no option for status bar icon/label; doesn’t show notifications; doesn’t provide XSS or JAR document security (NoScript provides this level of protection)

Worth thinking about

You will be amazed how many browsers crash when Flash is being used – so it’s useful to be able to control what Flash content is delivered to your browser. There is also a notable CPU increase when Flash is used too, so having the flexibility to enable/disable Flash is a useful option indeed, outside of the obvious security issues.

Safe surfing folks!


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