Thursday, March 20, 2008

Set Internet Explorer and Firefox to maximize your security.

Modern browsers are much better than their predecessors at keeping your Web activity private and your data safe. Still, you may not have your browser configured to provide optimum security. Take a few minutes to give Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 a safety check.

Batten down IE7's hatches
The version of IE7 for Vista adds the Protected Mode, which allows Web sites to access only the Temporary Internet Files folder on your PC. According to Microsoft, this feature is on by default for the Internet, Intranet, and Restricted zones, but disabled for the Trusted Sites and Local Machine zones. On my machine it was enabled for all zones. You'll see "Protected Mode: On" in the status bar when it's active, or click Tools > Internet Options > Security, and make sure "Enable Protected Mode (requires restarting Internet Explorer)" is checked at the bottom of each zone.

Maximize security in IE7 for Vista by making sure Protected Mode is enabled.
(Credit: Microsoft)

There have been some reports of Protected Mode causing problems, so if a particular page won't load or run correctly, disabling this feature may solve the glitch, though I don't recommend keeping Protected Mode off. The Web's not getting any safer, and you need all the protection you can get.

Another great new feature in IE7--for XP and Vista alike--is the Phishing Filter. Why the filter is off by default I'll never know. To activate it, click Tools > Phishing Filter > Turn On Automatic Website Checking > OK. Unfortunately, choosing Tools > Phishing Filter > Phishing Filter Settings merely opens the Advanced Internet Options dialog box, where you can scroll down to the Phishing Filter section under Security, only to find that your only two options are to disable the filter, and to "turn off automatic website checking." But while you're in the Advanced Options settings, make sure "Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates" is checked in the Browsing section. Click OK when you're done. [...]

Read more ...

Posted by Dennis O'Reilly, Download Blog,

No comments: