Java Security Warning

If you are accessing Blackboard on a PC, you may receive a security warning when attempting to use certain features. The error reads:

“Java has discovered application components that could indicate a security concern.”

You will then be asked whether to “Block potentially unsafe components from being run” (see the image below). If you click “Yes,” the functionality you were attempting to use in Blackboard will be disabled and fail to run properly.

Warning

This error is the result of a security feature released beginning in version 1.6.0_19 of Java for the PC. Chances are that your computer has updated to this or a more recent version automatically. Clicking “Yes” tells Java to disable parts of a program that do not have a security signature, including certain unsigned (though safe) portions of code that Blackboard runs. Clicking “No” indicates that you trust the program, and Java runs it as is. For many Blackboard users, this frequently appearing security warning has become an annoyance.

The Blackboard company says they are working on an update to their software that will address this latest change in Java. In the meantime, if you are receiving this warning message, you have the following options for dealing with it:

Leave the security setting in place and click “No” every time the message appears in Blackboard. This is arguably the safest option if you can handle the annoyance factor of the warning message.
Adjust the settings in your Java control panel to either disable the security feature altogether or hide the message and always provide a default response. This assumes a higher security risk and leaves the responsibility on you to be careful about which sites you visit that would run Java code. To disable or hide the security warning, do the following:

  1. Open the Java Control Panel by going to the Start Menu > Control Panel > Java Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. Click on “Security.”
  4. Click on “Mixed Code (sandbox vs. trusted) security verification.”
  5. Choose from one of the following two options:
  • Enable – hide warning and run with protections: This will hide the warning message and cause Java to act every time as though you had clicked “No.”.
  • Disable verification: This will disable the new security feature altogether, with the risk that you could run potentially unsafe code without being warned.

For more details on this issue, see Oracle’s full support article at

*Thanks to Utah State for this tutorial