Plugins and browsers

At the beginning of the World Wide Web, the first versions of HTML could not transmit / process this kind of content like video. Text, images and links were the limit. Plugins were invented to get around the limitations of HTML and provide more interactive content. A plugin is additional software that is created specifically for a specific type of content. For example, a user may download and install an Adobe Flash Player plugin to view a page containing a video or interactive game.

How does the plugin interact with the browser interface? The principle of the plug-in is very similar to the picture-in-picture mechanism on the TV: the browser finds the content on the web page that the plug-in is used to display and, one might say, gives way to it. And the plugin can work freely inside this space, regardless of the browser.

This independence means that one particular plugin can work in different browsers. However, this omnipresence makes plugins a prime target for attacks on browsers as well. Your computer is even more vulnerable to attacks if you use outdated plugins that do not contain the latest security patches.

The plug-in models we use today are in many ways similar to those that existed back in the early days of the Web. But today, the web community is looking at new ways to modernize plugins—how to integrate plugins more fully so that their content is searchable, linkable, and interactable with the rest of the page. Most importantly, today several browser vendors and plugin developers are working together to protect users from various security threats to their computers. For example, the Google Chrome and Adobe Flash Player teams collaborated to integrate the Flash Player plugin into the browser. Google Chrome's auto-update mechanism ensures that the latest version of the Flash Player plugin is always used and that it receives all security fixes and patches.

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