Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Web Browser Security
Web Browser Security
Now that you have eliminated one method that attackers use to enter your
computer by blocking your ports with a firewall, it is time to secure the other entry
point—the web browser. An attacker can also get into your computer by using
an exploit in a web browser by tricking you into installing a web component
that has malicious code inside. Internet Explorer has many security settings
built in that will help you keep safe. However, trade-offs often exist, including
ease of use and convenience. For example, you can disable the installation of
all web components for maximum security, but when you really need to install
one, it can take longer and require more work than normal.
Securing Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10 is a reined upgrade that builds on the security features first
introduced in Internet Explorer 7, such as Protected Mode. Possible only when
using Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 or Windows 8, Protected Mode still
is the most important security feature that all browsers should have.
In the past, Internet Explorer was prone to various attacks, leaving it one of
the weakest parts of the entire operating system. In its release of Service Pack 2
for Windows XP, Microsoft tried to stop automatic downloading and installation
and website exploits, but that worked only a little. Flaws are still being discovered
in Internet Explorer every once in a while and attackers are trying to find new
ways to trick users into installing malicious code. How do you ix this problem?
Simple—you isolate Internet Explorer into a secure environment so that if exploits
are found in the future, they will not work because IE cannot access resources
other than its own. That protection is called Protected Mode .
Another major feature Internet Explorer first introduced in IE9 is called the
SmartScreen filter. SmartScreen protects users against known bad websites. These
are sites that may serve malicious content, such as downloads full of viruses, or
other sites that try to trick you into providing your sensitive information. For
example, a fake eBay website that you log in to might give your username and
password to the bad guys. In these situations, SmartScreen will prevent you
from even loading the website.
Protected Mode and SmartScreen combined with other security features in
Internet Explorer 10, will help secure the other major point of entry for spyware,
malware, and attackers. The next section shows you how to get the most out of
these new features.
Fine-Tuning Security Settings
You can adjust the security settings in Internet Explorer within Internet Options.
Follow these steps to adjust the security settings in IE10:
1. Open Internet Explorer 10.