Note: when installing, un-check the option for installing the Ask Toolbar, as this is unnecessary and annoying.
Java is a background program that a lot of web pages and programs use to run things. Unfortunately, malicious software/viruses often use Java to run too. This has ALWAYS been the case and is nothing new.
To stay safe while using Java, keep it up to date (when it pops up wanting to update, update it). Check to make sure you don't have old versions (in Add or Remove programs or Programs and Features). Remove old versions of Java if you have any.
Also, regardless of the Java issue, you should always make sure your anti-virus program is up to date and is working properly and scanning your computer regularly. As an added security level, I recommend installing the free version of Malwarebytes and running a manual scan with it if you suspect you might be infected by something that may have got by your main anti-virus program.
You could have the best and most up to date security, but if your habits on-line are bad, you can still infect your computer.
- Avoid bad sites that are infected (often Google and your anti-virus program will warn you when you try to go to one of these sites, but not always).
- When you download a program or a file, always scan it with your anti-virus program (especially from a suspicious site (you can usually do this by right-clicking on the file on your computer and choosing to scan with with your anti-virus program from the drop-down menu).
- Don't let friends, guests, relatives on your computer. If you do, run a full scan with Malwarebytes as well as with your main anti-virus program. Also, look for programs they may have installed and un-install them if you don't want them.