Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Use IE Securely

Internet Explorer provides 4 zones for which you can establish separate security settings. The purpose of this article is to introduce these 4 zones and how to use them to ensure you safely browse the Internet. By following the advice in this article, you’ll shrink your chances of being the victim of an attack when you inadvertently visit a malicious Web site.

The 4 zones in Internet Explorer are :
• Internet
• Local intranet
• Trusted sites
• Restricted sites

The Internet Zone
The Internet zone is the zone that contains all the Web sites you haven’t placed in another zone. Think of it as the default zone. The settings you establish for the Internet zone are applied to any Web site that you haven’t specifically listed in the Local intranet, Trusted sites or Restricted sites zones.

Since the Internet zone’s settings are the default, you should use the highest level of security that you can for this zone. Generally, a “Medium” security level is sufficient, but since many Internet Explorer Support vulnerabilities absorb active scripting, it’s best to use the “High” level of security so that active scripting is disabled by default. Changing to a “High” security level will make parts of some Web sites not work properly, but you can always add a site to your Trusted sites zone if you want to allow the active script to run.
Follow these instructions to change the Internet zone’s security setting to “High” in Internet Explorer.

Intranet Zone
The Intranet zone contains all the sites that are on your organization’s local intranet. Internet Explorer provides this zone because it’s reasonable that you 0r your employer might want to enable some features for sites on your local intranet, but not on the wider Internet.

Trusted Sites Zone
The Trusted sites zone is a place where you can list Web sites that you trust not to harm your computer. By setting the security in this zone to “Medium-low” 0r “Low”, you ensure that most or all content will run without prompts.
Follow these instructions to in IE7 or in IE6.

Restricted Sites Zone
The Restricted sites zone is a place where you can list Web sites that you think could potentially damage your computer or steal your data. By setting the security for this zone to “High”, you restrict the types of content sites in the zone can run 0n your computer, helping to protect your computer from possible attacks.

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