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Internet Explorer Security Zones

Friday, July 20th, 2007

What are Security Zones in Internet Explorer?

Security zones are an Internet Explorer feature that allows users to sort websites based on their level of trust in them. By default, all websites are placed within the Internet Zone category, which has a default security level of medium. The other categories of security zones include the Local Intranet Zone, the Trusted Sites Zone, and the Restricted Sites Zone. Each of these zones has a different default security level, however these can be modified in order to suit your specific needs.

By default the Local Intranet Zone contains all networks connections that were established using a Universal Naming Convention path or have names that do not contain periods. An Intranet is a private computer network that allows members to share information and data quickly and efficiently. Essentially, it is a private version of the Internet, but on a smaller scale. The default security level for the Local Intranet zone is set to Medium-low (Internet Explorer 5 and 6) or Medium-high (Internet Explorer 7).

Classify Sites Using Security Zones

Sites that you trust as safe, such as sites within your corporation’s intranet, or companies in whom you have confidence, should be placed within the Trusted Sites Zone. You should not place a site within the Trusted Sites Zone unless you believe that files that are downloaded or run from the site will not damage their computer or data. No sites are automatically placed within this zone, but its default security level is Low.

The Restricted Sites Zone contains sites that one does not trust. When you believe that files from a site may damage your computer, you should place the site within the Restricted Sites Zone. No sites are automatically placed within this zone either, however its default security level is High.

As you browse the Internet, you should assign websites to a specific zone according to whether you find them trustworthy. For users more familiar with Internet Explorer’s security settings, it is possible to change the default security level for a zone, or customize the security options for a certain zone.

How to Classify Sites Using Security Zones

To assign a Web site to a specific security zone, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. On the Tools menu, select Internet Options
  3. Select the Security tab
  4. Select the zone to which you want to assign a Web site (since all unassigned sites use the default settings under “Internet”, you cannot add sites to this setting)
  5. Click on the button: Sites
  6. Type a Web address in box next to Add this Web site to the zone
  7. Click Close
  8. Click Apply
  9. Click OK

For information on changing security settings for Security Zones, please see: Internet Explorer Security Zones: Changing Security Level Settings

Using Secure IE to Classify Sites

Secure IE Browser Security is the only browser on the market today that was specifically designed with Internet users’ security as the primary concern.

The Secure IE Internet Security Manager makes it possible for anyone to easily manage sites using security zones. In Secure IE’s easy-to-use interface, you can toggle between Low, Medium and High security settings and easily add sites to each zone.

Change Security Settings

Manually Adjust Browser Security Settings

For those who would like to adjust their Internet security settings, Secure IE provides an easy-to-use interface for this as well. Changing these settings using Internet Explorer can seem impossible for those who haven’t received advanced degrees in computer science. But with Secure IE’s Security Manager, it couldn’t be easier.

IE Security Settings

 Secure IE Browser Security also features:

Secure IE

  • McAfee SiteAdvisor protects users from phishing scams, adware, spyware, spam and more. SiteAdvisor warns users about dangerous sites; places site safety ratings next to all search results; and provides details on a site’s safety rating upon request.
  • Automatic Browser Security Tune-Up – will adjust browser security settings to ensure maximum protection.
  • Browser Shield filters out prohibited ActiveX Controls and other security risks.
  • Popup Blocking (including annoying Windows messenger ads)
  • Flash and ActiveX Blocking that can be turned on or off with just one click
  • …and much more!

For more information on Secure IE, see Secure IE Browser Security

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