We’re about to say goodbye to an application that was once a mainstay of interactivity on the internet. Adobe Flash is reaching end of life on December 31, 2020.
This is when Adobe will no longer support the application with Flash Player security patches, browser compatibility, etc., and is putting the application “out to pasture.”
Adobe Flash multimedia software has been around since the early 2000’s and was once seen just about everywhere online, powering ads, website animations, and games.
The Flash Player browser plugin made it possible to see Flash animations in web pages, and it was one of the earlier platforms of its kind that allowed streaming of audio and video and microphone and camera input.
But time marched on, and with the development of HTML 5 (another application that can play video in webpages), as well as other interactive web applications, Flash soon became harder to find.
Many browser developers began dropping support for Adobe Flash and similar older bastions of the early days of the internet. Apple actually never supported Flash in iOS for iPad or iPhone.
Because of how long Flash had been a major part of the internet experience, Adobe announced the EOL of the application back in July of 2017, along with several other technology partners like Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, and Facebook.
With end of life only a few weeks away, it’s vital to take the necessary steps to understand what EOL means and why you need to remove Flash components from computer services, browsers, and PCs for security.
What Does EOL for Adobe Flash Mean?
What end of life (EOL) means is that Adobe Flash will no longer be supported. This includes loss of support of vital security updates needed to seal newly found software vulnerabilities.
Without ongoing security patch updates, having the application on your device leaves it at risk of a breach.
According to Adobe, after the EOL date, the Flash player will also no longer be available for download from its site. Additionally, if you still have the Flash Player, you’ll find that Flash-based content will be blocked from playing.
Adobe states that people should not use the Flash Player at all after the EOL date, even if they find it for download on another website.
What You Need to Do to Prepare
When a computer or internet component loses important security support, it can leave your device and data at risk of a breach. This is why it’s crucial to remove any Flash components from your devices by the EOL date and make sure you install any browser updates that may be issued on or after 12/31/20 that removes Flash support.
In 2019, 60% of data breaches were due to unpatched system vulnerabilities.
For companies that may be using Flash on their own websites, they’ll need to remove those elements and replace them with newer technologies, such as HTML5, WebGL, or WebAssembly.
Any Flash components on your website will no longer work for people after the end of the year, which could drive away visitors.
What You Need to Do With Browsers
If you use Flash Player on your PC for games or viewing other content, you’ll need to switch to a browser and look for safe non-flash game content. Some of the most popular options are:
- Microsoft Edge
- Safari (does not support Windows)
If you access Flash content through a compatible browser, you’ll need to ensure you update your browser and disable any Flash components.
There are currently several browsers that are compatible with Flash (which won’t be after 12/31/20) these include:
- Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Edge
Review browser settings for any Flash components and disable or remove them.
For computers, you’ll also need to do a system check to ensure they don’t have the Flash Player or the Flash software itself installed. It’s a good idea to begin with older systems in a company, which will be more likely to have Flash components and work your way forward to the newer computers.
You want to make this a priority, with the EOL and loss of support looming. As many hackers are just waiting for EOL to hit before they begin diving into code to take advantage of vulnerabilities that they know no longer will be patched by the manufacturer.
Need Help with a Flash EOL Checkup?
Magnify247.com can help your Indiana business go through your systems for a Flash EOL checkup to make sure all components are removed. If you’re migrating any resources to a new browser, we can help with that too!