The browser plugin is not safe; Java itself is pretty much OK for Java applications (those that are not Internet- or browser-based (that pesky plugin).
Best bet? Go read the US-CERT notice (http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/625617
) and decide for yourself, eh.
If you're using Firefox
, you want to disable the Java plugin; you do that from Tools
and click tab next to Java Plugin
to disable it.
You can also refer to these addresses (copy-paste into your browser):
* Vulnerability Note VU#625617
* Setting the Security Level of the Java Client
* The Security Manager
* How to disable the Java web plug-in in Safari
* How to turn off Java applets
* Securing Your Web Browser
* Vulnerability Note VU#636312
Hope this helps some.