One of the essential good habits for keeping hackers off your computer is to keep your operating system and programs up to date. Updates fix security holes that hackers can use to attack you. Learn more good habits that will make your safer online.
However, there are times when a company stops supporting a program, which means no more security updates. In other words, you have a ticking time bomb on your system just waiting for a clever hacker to trigger it. And that's exactly what's happening right now with a popular program you might have installed on your computer a long time ago. If so, you need to get rid of it right now.
The program is called QuickTime and it's a media player made by Apple. It used to be required to watch certain online videos, such as the trailers Apple posted on its website. However, it isn't in use as much anymore, at least on the Windows side of things.
In fact, while Apple has been releasing regular security patches, it hasn't released an entirely new version of QuickTime for Windows in more than a decade. And Apple just announced it won't be releasing any more security patches either, although it will keep supporting QuickTime on Mac.
That's a big problem for Windows users because QuickTime already has two known bugs. These bugs could allow hackers to run malicious code on your computer if you open the wrong file or visit the wrong website.
That information prompted the Department of Homeland Security to issue an alert that Windows users should uninstall QuickTime immediately. Apple is also chiming in saying you should uninstall the program, although ironically (as of this writing) it's still offering the download on its website.
To see if you have QuickTime installed, go to Start>>Control Panel. Under "Programs," click the "Uninstall a Program" link. Scan the list for QuickTime, and, if you see it, select it and click "Uninstall" or "Remove." Apple also has instructions on its site if you're dealing with QuickTime Pro.
By the way, if you need to play .mov (QuickTime) files on your Windows computer, newer versions of Windows Media Player, or a third-party media player like VLC, will do the job.
While you're removing QuickTime, this might be a good opportunity to see what other programs and files you no longer need. Slimming down your computer can help speed it up. Learn more about how to do that, plus more simple steps to clean up and speed up your computer.