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How to Enhance Web Browser Security: Internet Explorer

You can enhance the security of your web browser by following the recommendations below:

Note: These procedures apply only to Internet Explorer. Please see the Firefox or Safari pages for more information about how to enhance the security of those browsers.

Turn on Automatic Updates

Internet Explorer can be automatically updated using the Software Update feature for the Windows operating system. For step-by-step information for Windows XP and Vista, see the Turn on Automatic Updates page.

Change the Security Settings

Internet Explorer allows you to set different security levels for different security "zones." Setting the security level to Medium for the Internet zone provides safety when browsing while still allowing most web sites to function without interference. 

Note: If you set the security to High, you will be disabling features, including JavaScript, that some web sites rely on.

  1. From the Tools menus, choose Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. If you see the slider control, move it to Medium. If you don't see the slider, click Default Level and then, move the slider to Medium.
  4. Click OK.


Disable Popups

It's a good idea to disable popups in your browser because many web sites use popup windows to run malicious software.

  1. From the Tools menu, choose Internet Options.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Under Pop-up Blocker, check the Block pop-ups box.
  4. Click OK.


Disable Cache for Encrypted Pages

Your web browser stores a copy of some pages on your local disk. This is called caching. For some secure web pages, this disk copy may be readable. It's a good idea to turn off caching for secure pages so unencrypted versions of those pages are not being stored on your disk.

  1. From the Tools menu, choose Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Security section, check the Do not save encrypted pages to disk box.
  4. Click OK.