Friday, March 17, 2006

Internet Explorer Security Zones

Setting Internet Explorer security settings properly is a tricky process. The default settings keep you pretty safe, but you can always tighten them up to make your computer more secure. The trick is finding the optimal security settings, where web sites still display properly and your computer is still secure.

Internet Explorer uses different security zones to enable or disable different browser functionality and security features to display certain types of web content safely. For example, if you're browsing your company's Intranet, IE will pass your Windows Security credentials. Although, if you're browsing an Internet web site IE will not pass this information.

IE supports four security zones: Internet, Local Intranet, Trusted Sites, and Restricted Sites. Each security zones allows you to set separate security settings and specify which sites fall into which zones. You can set individual permission for each zone by moving a slider up and down, or by setting individual security permissions.

Local Intranet zone: Less restrictive security permissions. Designed to be used for web sites that exist on your companies local Intranet.
Internet zone: The most restrictive security permissions. These settings will apply to most if not all web sites you visit.
Restricted zone: This is a list of sites that you don't trust. Certain potentially insecure web content will be blocked, such as ActiveX controls.
Trusted Sites zone: This is a list of sites that you trust implicitly. Even if certain web content is blocked by the other security zone permissions, web sites listed here will be allowed to display potentially insecure web content.

To access these settings, do the following:
  • While in Internet Explorer, from the Tools menu select 'Internet Options'.
  • Select the Security tab.
  • Make the appropriate changes, then press the OK button when done.

No comments: