Free Software Update Monitoring Tools:
Older versions of a lot of popular software such as Adobe (Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, Shockwave Player), Java, Windows Media Player, VLC Player, Web Browsers are vulnerable to exploits and should be kept updated. There are serious security issues with older versions which can increase the risk of system infection. Infections spread by malware writers and attackers exploiting unpatched security holes or vulnerabilities in older versions. Software applications are a favored target of malware writers who continue to exploit coding and design vulnerabilities with increasing aggressiveness.
The majority of computers get infected from visiting a specially crafted webpage that exploits one or multiple software vulnerabilities. It could be by clicking a link within an email or simply browsing the net, and it happens silently without any user interaction whatsoever.
As an alternative to Adobe Reader, you can use other free software instead:
Free PDF Reader
Sumatra PDF Portable
You don't need Java.
Using Java is an unnecessary security risk...especially using older versions which have vulnerabilities that malicious sites can use to exploit and infect your system.
Although Java is commonly used in business, banking, educational environments and many VPN providers still use it, the average user does not need to install Java software. While there are business applications that run on servers and some websites that will not work unless Java is installed, most folks will never encounter them during their daily use of computing.
I recommend just uninstalling Java if you don't use it.
If you must use Java, many security researchers and computer security organizations caution users to limit their usage and to disable Java Plug-ins or add-ons in your browsers.
If you need Java for a specific Web site, consider adopting a two-browser approach. If you normally browse the Web with Firefox, for example, consider disabling the Java plugin in Firefox, and then using an alternative browser (Chrome, IE9, Safari, etc.) with Java enabled to browse only the site(s) that require(s) it.
Krebs On Security: ...Java
To defend against this and future Java vulnerabilities, consider disabling Java in web browsers until adequate updates are available. As with any software, unnecessary features should be disabled or removed as appropriate for your environment.
US CERT: Disable Java in web browsers