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2012-06-10

A+: Browsing and Security

You can configure Internet Explorer’s default security settings for Java, ActiveX, and other potentially harmful content through the Internet Options’ Security tab. Open the Internet Options tab with Control Panel, or click Tools, Settings, Internet Options within Internet Explorer.

Depending on the version of Internet Explorer there will be five or four default security settings: High, Medium-high, Medium, Medium-Low, and Low. High blocks almost all active content and prevents websites from setting cookies (small text files that can track website usage). Medium (the default) enables some active content but blocks unsigned ActiveX controls. Medium-low blocks unsafe content but downloads other content without prompts, and low has no safeguards.

Each setting is matched to a web content zone. By default, all sites not in other zones are placed in the Internet zone, which uses Medium-high security (Medium on older versions of Internet Explorer). The local Intranet zone uses Medium-low security by default (medium in older versions). Trusted sites use Medium security by default (Low in older versions); restricted sites use High security by default.

To add or remove sites on the local Intranet, Trusted, or Restricted site list, select the zone and click Sites.

By default, local Intranet sites include all local sites, all sites that don’t use a proxy server, and all UNC network paths. Remove check marks to restrict these options. Click Advanced to add or remove a specific site or to require a secured server. Trusted or Restricted sites display the Add/Remove dialog box immediately.

Click Custom from the main Security tab to adjust the default settings for any security level. If the settings of any zone are misconfigured, one can return to default settings for an individual zone or reset security of all zones by clicking the Reset All Zones to Default Level button.

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