Here in the real world, widespread adoption of the above two programs makes them irresistible targets for hackers and malware peddlers. But you don’t have to live with the threats that these can present. You can eliminate Adobe Reader and use free alternative PDF programs (Portable Document Format readers) that are even faster than the well known Adobe Reader. Suggestions are:
- Sumatra PDF: http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/free-pdf-reader.html
- Foxit Reader: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/
- Nitro Reader: http://www.nitropdf.com/free/
You might also like to read though Jim’s informative article reviewing 6 leading free alternatives to Adobe Reader here: PDF Readers: 6 alternatives to Adobe and how they stack up.
With more zero day attacks on Adobe Reader, and attackers getting bolder, you should rethink your reasons for not simply switching…
On the other hand Adobe Flash is harder to deal with because of the way it is interwoven into Google Chrome and IE10. But, you can use Firefox, if you don’t feel so media dependent as to needing Flash Player. On those occasions where you simply cannot work without Flash, you can still use either Chrome or IE10.
The good news is; the prospect of abandoning Flash altogether is becoming more viable by the day; Adobe recently discontinued Flash on Android, and Apple has never allowed the multimedia software on its iOS devices. And as mobile technology consumes the world, websites are turning away from Flash to embrace HTML5 in droves.
So, in summary, you can dump Adobe Reader and use the free alternative PDF readers, doing so will surely lessen your chances of getting the exploits which seem to find their way into these programs so often. When it comes to Flash, you have the choice of using Firefox, or combine IE10/Chrome for when you stumble across Flash websites!