A good habit for keeping dangerous hackers off your personal computer is to keep your computer programs and operating system up to date with the latest patches and fixes. Those important updates fix security holes that dangerous hackers can use to attack your computer and steal your personal information.
However, there are also times when a popular company stops supporting one of their programs that have been out forever, which means no more security fixes and updates. In other words, you have a ticking time bomb on your computer system just waiting for a hacker to find it. And that’s exactly what’s happening right now with a popular program you might have installed on your computer a long time ago. If so, you need to uninstall it right now.
This program is called QuickTime and it’s a media player made by Apple. It used to be required to watch certain online videos, such as the trailers and other videos Apple posted on its website. However, it isn’t in use as much anymore, at least on the Windows side of things.
In fact, while Apple has been releasing regular security patches, it hasn’t released an entirely new version of QuickTime for Windows in more than a decade. And Apple just announced it won’t be releasing any more security patches either, although it will keep supporting QuickTime on Mac.
QuickTime for Windows will continue to work, and is curiously still available for download. But Apple and DHS urged Windows customers to uninstall the program.
“Using unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats,”DHS said in its alert. “The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.”
Security company TrendMicro blogged about the QuickTime vulnerability in a post titled “Urgent call to action.”
That’s a big problem for Windows users because QuickTime already has two known bugs. These bugs could allow hackers to run malicious code on your computer if you open the wrong file or visit the wrong website.
That information prompted the Department of Homeland Security to issue an alert that Windows users should uninstall QuickTime immediately. Apple is also chiming in saying you should uninstall the program, although ironically (as of this writing) it’s still offering the download on its website.
To see if you have QuickTime installed, go to Start>>Control Panel. Under “Programs,” click the “Uninstall a Program” link. Scan the list for QuickTime, and, if you see it, select it and click “Uninstall” or “Remove.” Apple also has instructions on its site if you’re dealing with QuickTime Pro.
By the way, if you need to play .mov (QuickTime) files on your Windows computer, newer versions of Windows Media Player, or a third-party media player like VLC, will do the job.
While you’re removing QuickTime, this might be a good opportunity to see what other programs and files you no longer need. Slimming down your computer can help speed it up. (Source)