Internet Explorer used to be the most popular Internet browser for many years. But, now Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are in the race to take that coveted top spot.
Due to its popularity, many exploits were explored to do all sorts of nasty things. Internet Explorer 6 used to be the most popular browser, but it was not secure. Recent versions of Internet Explorer (namely version 8 and 9) are very secure.
Just a note: the screenshots were taken from my version of Internet Explorer 8. The Internet Explorer 8 and 9 layout is very different to, say version 6 or earlier.
To make Internet Explorer more secure, just follow these steps:
1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Go to the upper right-hand corner and click the Tools menu:
3. Select Internet Options from the drop-down list.
4. A new window will pop up, this is the Internet Options window, displaying the General tab.
5. Select the Security tab (the one next to the General tab) and click on the Internet zone to select the Internet security zone.
6. In the security level for this zone, you will see a slider that is set to Medium-high. This is the default setting.
7. Click on the slider and drag it to the top. By doing this, you will be setting the security level to high.
8. Click on the Custom level… button
9. A Security Settings – Internet Zone window will pop up.
10. Go to the section where it says: Reset custom settings, and click on the drop-down box next to Reset to:
The default is set to Medium-high.
11. Change it from Medium-high (default) to High
12. Scroll down until you find ActiveX controls and plugins and disable all their settings
13. Keep scrolling down until you reach Scripting and disable Active Scripting
14. Then, press OK. Make sure the Reset to: is set to High and click Reset…
15. When prompted, click the Yes button. It is just asking you to confirm that you want to reset your settings, which will be now set at High. Click OK to go back to the Security tab.
16. Next, you need to change the Cookie settings. Click on the Privacy tab and you’ll notice that the slider is set to Medium High by default.
Cookies are small text files that some websites store in your computer. They allow the website to get more information from you.
Sometimes, they “personalize” your web surfing. For example, Amazon stores a cookie in your computer when you go to their website. If you visit again, it will know who you are and will greet you with your first name. This is what a cookie can do.
The problem is that, some cookies are stored by malicious websites in your computer. They are stored in your computer without your permission. They are used for spying on you. So, it is a good idea to block them.
17. Click on the Advanced button. A window will appear, that will allow you to change the privacy settings for cookies.
18. Tick on the override automatic cookie handling and select Prompt for both First-party Cookies and Third-party Cookies.
Whenever a website wants to store a cookie in your computer, it will ask (prompt) you. You can then reject or allow these requests.By doing this, only the cookies that you authorise will be stored in your computer.
19. Blocking cookies can severely impact your Internet browsing. You will not be able to visit some websites that require you to accept cookies. The constant prompting by websites can be very annoying, as well. This is why, you should accept cookies from sites that you trust. A website might try to store multiple cookies when trying to display a page and might ask you prompt you many times to store cookies. For example, you go to Amazon.com and it prompts you to accept the cookie. If the Always allow session cookies is ticked, then, if you have accepted a cookie from Amazon, next time it needs to store a cookie in your computer it won’t ask you. Obviously, the more secure option is to leave this option unticked, but it can get very annoying.
20. Click the OK button to close the Advanced Privacy Settings window. You are back at the Privacy tab.
21. You can control what sites you allow cookies from and which ones you want to block. To do this, click on Sites
You enter a website address and specify if you want to allow or block cookies.
22. Then, click the OK button to go back to the Privacy tab.
23. Turn the pop-up blocker on by ticking Turn on Pop-up Blocker. Definitely do it. You open a page on some websites and it has multiple pop-ups. You can individually override this setting, by holding the CTRL key when clicking on the link that has a pop-up.
24. Now click on the Advanced tab and under Settings scroll down to Browsing then search for Enable third-party browser extensions*. Make sure this is ticked, as it won’t allow third-party browser add-ons to install on your browser, without your consent. Some add-ons can help you enhance your web browsing experience, but some will make changes to your browser settings without asking for permission. Some will even change your home page and can be very annoying.
25. Continue scrolling down until you get International* and search for Always show encoded addresses. Tick the box to prevent webpage spoofing (fake websites) which causes phishing attacks to your machine.
26. Scroll down to Multimedia and untick Play sounds in webpages
This can cause phishing, insecure content to attack your browser and then your machine.
27. Click on the Apply button and then press OK to close the Internet Options window.
28. Close Internet Explorer to apply the changes that you selected. If you do not restart Internet Explorer, these changes will not take effect.by explore