Most people in the tech world know that Adobe Flash Player is one of the worst platforms when it comes to online security. Sure, the web client makes it easier for people to create and enjoy rich content, but it also exposes users to a wide range of vulnerabilities. In fact, for so many years now, Flash Player is one of the software with the highest number of zero day exploits. This means that more and more cyber attackers are using Flash’s vulnerabilities to target people and steal their identity or take control of their computers.
This has left a lot of people wondering: if Adobe Flash Player has a lot of security issues, why is it still so popular? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons:
HTML5 has a steep learning curve
Flash Player has been around for a long time and, as such, there are lots of books, classes, and tutorials that teach it to those who want to learn it. Because of this, web developers can easily master its basic functions and even gain advanced skills.
HTML5, which is set to replace Flash Player, is a new technology that not all people are familiar with. Web developers who want to learn HTML5 will have to spend several days learning the basics and honing their skills, which will take substantial time away from their work. This is one of the things that discourage them from mastering HTML5.
Migrating websites to HTML5 can be a headache
Aside from the effort that’s required to learn HTML5, website developers and owners have to deal with the hassle that comes with migrating their sites to HTML5. This is especially true for websites that contain lots of videos and other rich content as well as those that have been around for a long time and have produced a lot of content. By migrating to HTML5, website owners and managers have to spend a substantial amount of money and set aside lots of time and manpower — something that not all of them are willing to do.
People use content that rely on Flash Player
As of August 2015, only 10 percent of websites were using Flash Player. This might seem like a small chunk but, considering that there are millions of websites around the world, this can still translate to a sizable number of websites that are reliant on Adobe Flash Player. So, people who want to play games, watch videos, and enjoy other content on these sites have no choice but to use Flash Player. Otherwise, they’ll have to look somewhere else to access the content they need.
People aren’t aware of Flash’s security issues
Despite Flash Player’s notoriety, many people — particularly casual internet users — still don’t know that it has lots of vulnerabilities and that using Flash puts them at risk of cyberattacks. As a result, they continue to use the web client in their day-to-day life. This lack of awareness is dangerous since these people are not motivated to update Flash Player on a regular basis and download the security patches that Adobe provides, and they don’t know that they’re supposed to be vigilant about their internet usage. This, in turn, puts them at a higher risk for becoming victims of hacking attempts.
Adobe Flash Player’s popularity is going down, but it remains to be one of the widely used programs nowadays. Web developers, website owners, and internet users all have the responsibility to keep themselves safe while using Flash Player and migrate to safer technologies like HTML5 as soon as possible.