A Facebook conversation this week reminded me that many people do not know how damaging Adobe Flash can be on many systems, especially, it seems, those running Apple's OS X. For many years, I have found Flash more annoying than anything, and so have run various plug-ins to keep Flash from loading in my browsers. There are also an additional mini-application that you may find useful. First, there are a number of Flash blocking plug-ins for the various browsers available. For Firefox, there's FlashBlock. Ffor Safari there's ClickToFlash. For Google Chrome, there's Kill-Flash. All of these plugins do the same thing: they replace the Flash elements on a page with a clickable image. If you don't click, no Flash ever loads. If you do, Flash loads and plays.
One think I especially like about ClickToFlash is that you can adjust the settings to load H.264 videos on YouTube instead of Flash when it is available. Very nice.
In addition to these plug-ins, I also use BashFlash on my Macs. This little application sits quietly in the menubar until one of the Flash processes starts going crazy. Sometimes, a Flash process can cycle up and take over a computer. When one does this, BashFlash wakes up, turns red, and lets you kill the runaway Flash process.
Together, these plugins and app will make your browsing experience much more pleasant. I run ClickToFlash and Kill-Flash on my two most-used browsers, and keep BashFlash on hand, too. Let me know how it goes for you.