When a vulnerable version of Java is active in a Web browser, visiting a compromised website is all it takes for crooks to sneak malware on to your computer. In most cases, you won't even know the site is compromised until it's too late.
Here's how to stay safe: Stop using Java - or stay on top of the upgrades and use Java a lot more guardedly.
I'm going to help you do just that.
But first: What the heck is Java, and why is it capable of scalding your computer?
First developed back in 1995, Java became ubiquitous almost overnight because it allowed programmers to write one program and use it on Windows, Apple OS X and other operating systems.
Today, Internet browsers use Java for interactive Web content, such as popular online games. Computers use it to run useful programs such as the free Office alternative LibreOffice, and Adobe Creative Suite. And Java is pre-installed on most new systems. It's estimated that Java is running on 850 million computers around the world.