This past Thursday, The United States Department of Homeland Security issued an alert advising people running Apple's QuickTime program on Windows computers to immediately uninstall the software. QuickTime was once a popular package for playing video and audio clips on computers, but it has since been eclipsed by other technologies.

Unfortunately, security vulnerabilities continue to be discovered in the QuickTime software -- including two critical ones announced just this past week that could allow criminals to hack into computers with QuickTime installed if the devices' users either run malware or visit a malicious webpage (which a criminal can induce via phishing, offering some "great deal" and spreading word of it on social media, etc.). Without security patches being issued by Apple, QuickTime software poses a serious danger to those running it.

For the past few years, Apple was maintaining QuickTime for Windows , issuing updates to address security vulnerabilities and fix other bugs as needed. But the firm has since terminated support for QuickTime on the Windows platform, has not issued any updates since January of this year, and has no plans to issue any more patches.

QuickTime for Windows is still available for download, and will still work as it did before, but it creates potentially serious vulnerabilities and should not be used -- certainly not on computers connected to the internet. The Department of Homeland Security alert was pretty blunt about how to protect oneself: "The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows."

In fact, there is little reason why anyone today would want to run QuickTime on a Windows computer; there are many better options for  watching videos, and pretty much any of the newer offerings can play all of the videos that QuickTime did.

Removing QuickTime is simple -- just follow the standard Windows software removal process. But do so today.

If you are not sure if you have QuickTime installed, just follow the standard removal instructions and look for QuickTime in the list of installed applications.