The recent data breach of an Italian-based surveillance software company unearthed numerous security holes in Adobe Flash’s media player. But severe Adobe Flash vulnerabilities don’t come as a surprise to many people; they’re discovered and exploited regularly. This is one reason, among many, that companies and individual users are migrating away from Adobe Flash and pushing for its retirement altogether.
What’s the Big Deal with Flash?
Flash is a closed system that’s controlled by Adobe, meaning Adobe has authority over the licensing fees, development fees and the future of the platform. This offsets the Internet’s open and fair standards. In addition, Adobe Flash doesn’t play well with Google’s search algorithm, nor is it mobile-friendly, resulting in lower rankings for Flash-supported websites.
Once people make it to your Flash-based website, they aren’t as likely to stay because of slow-loading content, often intrusive media and unintuitive user interfaces. This contributes to a higher bounce rate because visitors with slower connections must wait for the entire website to download before any part of it is viewable. Most mobile users can’t even see Flash content.
Apple has been the most ardent opponent of Flash. The media player isn’t supported on any of Apple’s products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, as well as certain Android phones. Apple accounts for 41.3% of U.S. smartphone subscribers. Therefore, all those mobile users who are trying to view your Flash-supported website are completely missing out on your content.
There have been multiple major security holes recently exploited in the Adobe Flash media player. The exploitation of the aforementioned surveillance company resulted in a 400GB leak of highly sensitive information. Hackers who successfully take advantage of these Flash vulnerabilities gain control of a system and have the opportunity to use the information in it for malicious purposes. This is why many security experts advise Internet users against installing Flash and will suggest they download tools to block it entirely, preventing them from viewing any of the Flash content on your website.
There are Better Options
Running a business means your priorities are to protect your company and your clients, as well as providing the best possible user experience. If your website currently depends on Flash to operate, it’s time for you to upgrade to an open-source platforms, such as HTML5. Content on HTML and Java Script websites can be instantly viewed as each page downloads to the browser. Flash’s capabilities can be accomplished and bettered with alternative methods, often with the benefit of tighter CMS (content management system) integration.
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