Apparently Microsoft has had enough of Java-based malware exploits, and is now offering some very simple and effective advice in protecting oneself. The instructions are simple: either update it, disable it, or just uninstall it completely.
Two types of confusion vulnerabilities, (CVE-2012-0507 and CVE-2012-1723) have been very actively exploited in recent months, and Microsoft's answer is that users should do one of three things, either update Java, disable it, or uninstall it.
Microsoft's first recommendation is to update your Java installation. To check the version of JRE your browser is running, head over to java.com/en/download/installed.jsp and get the latest version.
Some users may opt to to temporarily disable the current Java plugin to prevent being vulnerable to Java-based threats. This is easily done on a Windows system via the Control Panel and select Java. Once there it is just a matter of deselecting the “Java Runtime Environment Settings” and unchecking the “Enabled” check box to disable that installation from being used.
Microsoft has also recommended that you uninstall Java, if you don't use it.The instructions from Oracle are available at java.com/en/download/uninstall.jsp
"So, by following some simple steps, you can protect your machine from this malware infection by choosing to update, disable or uninstall," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "All of these will be effective for preventing currently prevalent Java based malware; it's just up to you to choose the right method to protect yourself based on your needs and situation."