Is Java safe to use - Minecraft Java

Hi, I’m completely out of my comfort zone here as my children wish to get Minecraft Java edition on the Mac but I am under the impression that Java should be avoided on Mac as it is a security risk.

Can someone clarify the situation for me as I find the information on line to be ambiguous at best.

Thank you.

In some sense, anything you install on your computer constitutes a security risk. To my knowledge, the main risk with Java (on any platform) is running out-of-date versions that have known vulnerabilities. This is compounded by the fact that the burden of keeping Java up to date is left largely to the user (i.e. you can’t rely on the Mac App Store to tell you to update).

If you’re comfortable keeping Java up to date yourself, I think it is no more “dangerous” than most other software.

Fair point. I have no issue with keeping up to date with Java patches so this could work for them. In truth I just don’t get the whole Minecraft thing but then I stopped playing games when the games industry moved away from side scroller games like Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg.

I feel physically ill with motion sickness when the children are playing a 3D action adventure like Skylanders.

Java is “dangerous” because:

  1. It’s complex, and therefore prone to having bugs.

  2. It’s used to process complex data in which it’s relatively easy to embed malicious content that’s difficult to detect.

  3. It’s produced by a corporation with a less than stellar security track record.

  4. Unlike (the completely unrelated, despite the name) Javascript, which is subject to points 1 and 2 as well, Java programs are not subject to browser sandboxes and have quite a lot of access to your computer.

All of that being said, most of the most serious security issues that I’ve seen regarding Java are most problematic for those using it in server side applications. If you run programs from trusted sources (and Minecraft certainly is from a trusted source) and keep it up to date, then you should be fine.