Saturday, November 26, 2005

Get a security guard

One way to minimize problems is by letting your Web Browser play a major role in providing system security. The most recent version of Internet Explorer, version 6, provides advanced security settings that let you specify how you want the browser to handle potentially risky online transactions.
To access the security settings in IE, open its Tools menu and select Internet Options. Next, choose the Security tab, which gives you the option of configuring security settings for various zones, including Internet and Local Intranet. This tab is also where you can specify the URLs (uniform resource locators; web addresses) for sites you trust and those you don’t trust.
Start by configuring the settings for the Internet zone. Highlight the Internet icon at the top of the tab, and a slider will appear in the Security Level For This Zone area at the bottom. You can set this slider to one of four levels: Low, Medium-Low, Medium, and High. The ideal setting is Medium, which provides ample security without hindering usability. You can tweak the security settings by clicking the Custom Level button. In the resulting Security Settings dialog box, you’ll see a list of settings you can customize to govern downloads, certificates (code used to verify identities online), and scripts (small programs designed to perform a particular set of instructions), among other things. Review the settings, configure them according to your security preferences, and click OK to save the changes.
(NOTE: IE shares some security settings with Outlook and Outlook Express. As a result, your email correspondence will follow some of the same rules you enforce on your web activity.)

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