QUESTION: With Flash expiring soon, what should I do to make sure my computer is safe?

ANSWER: Adobe’s multimedia platform known as “Flash” was an instrumental tool in the evolution of the Internet that brought animation and video capabilities to a text-based world.

Some of the most amazing interactive experiences in the early days of the Internet were made possible by Flash – it was probably how you played your first web-based games – but in today’s world, it’s a huge security risk.

At one point, it was so popular that many scams were focused on tricking users into “updating” Flash in order to see salacious videos, which was nothing more than a ploy to sneak malicious code onto your computer.

Because of security concerns, most major browsers started disabling or blocking Flash content some time ago while the industry migrated to the more secure HTML5 standard for multimedia coding.

Adobe’s support for Flash will end on Dec. 31, 2020, and the Flash Player utility will start blocking Flash content after Jan. 12, 2021.

The major browsers will also completely disable Flash from running after the end of the year, so for all intents and purposes, it’s a dead technology.