Helping users keep plugins updated

Friday, September 04, 2009

Starting with the upcoming releases of Firefox 3.5.3 and Firefox 3.0.14, Mozilla will warn users if their version of the popular Adobe Flash Player plugin is out of date. Old versions of plugins can cause crashes and other stability problems, and can also be a significant security risk. For now our focus is on the Adobe Flash Player both because of its popularity and because some studies have shown that as many as 80% of users currently have an out of date version.

After installing the Firefox security update, users with an out of date version of the Adobe Flash Player will see this message:

Our intent is to get the user’s attention, and direct them to the Adobe web site where they can download the most up to date version.

For users who are already running the latest version, or who don’t have the Adobe Flash Player installed, the page will look very much like what they would normally see after a Firefox security update:

Mozilla will work with other plugin vendors to provide similar checks for their products in the future. Keeping your software up to date remains one of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe online, and Mozilla will continue to look for ways to make that process as easy as possible for its users.

Johnathan Nightingale
Human Shield

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