Adobe whatever

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by John Bull, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    After several years plonking around on the net, I still do not know what the hell Adobe This & That means. I get Adobe Reader and a hundred and one other Adobe whatever`s.

    All I want to know is what precisely Adobe programs I need to operate my PC successfully. It is not much to ask and Adobe are no help at all.

    As a passing comment I do find that anything Adobe is both confusing and controversial.

    John
     
  2. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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  3. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Hello Dave,

    My life is simple, I just want to have the proper programs to execute whatever needs to be executed.

    I have found that trying to decipher Adobe is like trying to decipher some ancient hieroglyphics from an Egyptian tomb. I don`t care much about You Tube or any other sites like that, I just want to know what Adobe programs I have to install in order to operate smoothly, including any FF add-ons.

    John
     
  4. stackz

    stackz Registered Member

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    Just install the flash plugin for Firefox (just in case you want to hurt your eyes watching a video or flash animation). Nothing else Adobe is necessary.
     
  5. fax

    fax Registered Member

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  6. Carbonyl

    Carbonyl Registered Member

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    Sorry to be contrary, but Adobe Acrobat Reader is absolutely not essential. In fact I highly recommend avoiding it altogether and never installing it, as Adobe Acrobat and its various browser plugins are continually exploited by various malware incarnations (55 critical vulnerabilities in the year 2010, making it the 5th more vulnerable application). If you must view PDF files, there are a gaggle of better alternatives that are much more well behaved and less bloated than Adobe's Acrobat garbage.

    My recommendation is to install Adobe Flash plugin and keep it as up to date as possible (combined with proper script blocking/flash whitelisting, or sandboxing). That should be the only Adobe product 'necessary' for a modern internet experience.
     
  7. fax

    fax Registered Member

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    Of course... adobe reader, flash, java are the most used and naturally most targeted but luckly are also most updated applications... so risks are very limited...

    This is normal business... if you use any Adobe products you have to care to keep them updated (and adobe update works fine in this regard). For the case of Adobe Reader, for example, you must run the latest X version. It includes a sandbox with much improved security... up to then next vulnerability. :D

    Yes, essential is not the right word... lets say the most used in 99% of the cases.
    Fax
     
  8. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I think that all you need is the flash player plug-in. I know you have to update IE & any other browser separately. Chrome updates itself, although I know you have a deep aversion to that browser. I am really glad I switched Adobe's PDF reader for PDF X-Change. I should have done this years ago. I need a relatively decent PDF reader & Adobe's always seemed to be heavy & beset by problems. I used to dread trying to update it on my laptop. It regularly froze IE on the laptop (when I used IE more regularly).

    Many people use Adobe's Photoshop & it is an industry standard for image manipulation. Although I prefer the freeware GIMP. I'm not too sure how it works though LOL! :D
     
  9. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Dave, is this the PDF XChange viewer you mean ? http://pdf-xchange-viewer.en.softonic.com/

    I read a lot of PDF items on the web. Many local Government docs are PDF. Adobe AcrobatReader is giving an alert on SBxie, I`ve hidden it but it will not go away. No problem to me, just a nuisance.

    Can I just uninstall AAR using Revo U and install PDF XChange. Then will it read all my goodies without me having to move my lips ?

    John
     
  10. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Yes, that looks like it.

    I should imagine so. There are a few freeware PDF readers around though. I like X-Change as there is a 64 bit version as well as a 32 bit. Have a butchers at Sumatra PDF & Foxit as well. I tried & uninstalled Foxit after I thought it had some updating gremlins. It is very popular however.

    You could always keep Adobe Reader & have X-Change as the default I suppose. Personally, I was glad to see the back of Adobe's reader.

    Oh yeah, a word of warning, be careful when you install (or update) PDF X-Change as you have to remember to uncheck boxes for the Ask Toolbar & something else if I remember correctly. Well, it is freeware after all, you can't blame them for trying. Oddly, my 64 bit desktop version doesn't try to install anything like that, but the 32 bit version does. On one 32 bit update it installed the Ask toolbar even when unchecked, but they did apologise for this on their forum. It (the toolbar) uninstalled easily enough anyway.

    So far, I'm quite pleased with PDF X-Change. :thumb:
     
  11. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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  12. John Bull

    John Bull Registered Member

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    Dave, I have downloaded PDF XChange to my desktop. My Adobe Reader seems OK - see screenshot, so I don`t want to disturb it. How can I disable Adobe Reader so that I can try out PDF XChange and see which I like best ? ADR does not appear on Msconfig. If I disable it on the start list of CCleaner and the FF add-on, will that be sufficient to put it out of action ?

    Adobe Reader test - https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/public/diagnostics/Acrobat.html
    My test came out as screenshot below.

    John
    Screenshot :-
    Adobe Reader check.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  13. Someheresomethere

    Someheresomethere Registered Member

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    Besides Flash, I would recommend that you get Adobe Reader instead of third party readers, if only because it's the only way to be sure everything will work and be compatible. I've had issues with some PDF files using third party readers that weren't there when using Adobe Reader.

    In my experience, Adobe Reader X is slow on first launch, but opens up almost instantly in subsequent ones. And it now has sandboxing.
     
  14. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    You probably only need the Acrobat Reader and the Flash Player.

    Although one could make the case that both programs are not needed.

    Adobe Flash ? I once tried to browse the web without Flash, but it caused issues with many sites. There may be a way around that, but I don't remember how.
    I don't know how you use your computer, but if you don't play games that need Flash I recommend restricting Flash as much as possible.
    Since I don't use Firefox I can't advise you about how to do that for FF, but for IE you can google 'flash security settings' and restrict the various security/privacy settings. Personally I restrict it as much as possible, going from left to right on the panel. Don't forget to tick the 'never ask again' box. I have disabled the automatic update, but that's a personal preference. From time to time a Flash cookie may get past this, but this way you block almost everything.

    Acrobat Reader ? There are alternatives. If you go down that road, be careful about any spyware/toolbars or other junk that some other programs install.
    I have never had any issues with the Acrobat Reader, even though I use an older version that is supposedly more vulnerable. It makes sense to restrict the Acrobat Reader as much as possible. For example, disable the javascript option and disable the browser access (BHO/extension ?). I don't even need the ActiveX and it runs just fine. But that's for version 8, so I can't comment on the current version. For me, it's a matter of security, privacy and ease-of-use. You may want to set your firewall to filter outbound access if that's possible.
    I also don't use the download manager. The download manager is for the benefit of Adobe, not the user. You can use both Flash and the reader without the download manager. If you want to update Flash it is possible to bypass the download manager, but it may take some effort to figure it out.
    If you don't need the shockwave player it's probably better not to install it, it's just another vulnerability (privacy/security). You don't need it to browse the web.

    It's possible to remove the Adobe junk by means of Hijackthis. Just be careful with this tool. You may notice some other junk you'd like to get rid of as well.
     
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