The Adobe Flash Player, a media engine that plays video and other multi-media content on our computers, is still with us. It is in the process of being replaced by better technology without updates that may require your input. As of March 26, 2017 — many of us still have to deal with Flash.
** Stop right here: If you use the Google Chrome browser on your computer (and only Chrome), Flash is updated automatically for you within the browser. You can stop reading or simply pass this info on to someone who might use Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.**
For those you use Flash, even some of the time in browsers other than Chrome, note that Flash is installed into your Mac or Windows operating system. In Windows, you can find Flash (including the latest version #) in the Control Panel. From there you would go to the Start Menu >> Control Panel. On a Mac, you find Flash (including the latest version #) in your System Preferences.
The good news is, Windows is supposed to be keeping Flash updated automatically via Windows Updates. This is a recent change that benefits users. On the Mac, the Adobe Flash Player is also supposed to be self-updating. Mac updates to Flash do not come through the Mac App Store updates, but happen in the background.
So computer guru, why does this matter? They are happening automatically, right? Answer: Most of the time! Occasionally, the automatic process fails. You may even get prompted with a pop up to update your Flash Player. CAREFUL. There are “fake Flash Player” updates that are really malware. They will ruin your computer. The advice here is to never respond to a Flash update pop up box. If you are concerned that your Flash player may be out of date (which is in and of itself a major security concern), go to Adobe’s official webpage. Download and then install the latest version yourself. Even if you are already up to date, doing so just to be sure won’t hurt your computer.
Official link — accept no substitutes — https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
Final notes: You may be able to live without Flash Player. Millions of people do. You may want to use the Chrome browser exclusively so you don’t have to worry about this problem. iOS (iPhone and iPad) doesn’t rely on Flash at all and neither do all modern versions of Android.