IE7 and Vista: Using IE7 and Vista Safely: Page 4

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Fix My Settings

Nothing could be easier than pressing one button to accomplish multiple tasks. Toward that end, Internet Explorer 7 has a new feature called Fix My Settings, which allows you to adjust the browser’s default settings with just a single click. Used with the Security Status Bar, Fix My Settings helps users quickly determine whether a Web site is authentic and whether changes to their settings by a site are appropriate, and will even suggest settings for the user.

If you visit a Web site that is questionable and Internet Explorer believes you may be at risk, the Security Status Bar will warn you of danger and give you options to fix or avert the danger. Here, you can see the Fix Settings for Me option, which will walk you through adjusting your settings so that you are not exploited.

If you have issues with your browser, you can always reset it from within the Internet Options settings found in Internet Explorer, by going to the Tools menu and selecting either the Security tab (which will allow you to reset the zone directly) or the Advanced tab (where you can choose the Restore advanced settings option). Then, you can turn your browser back to the manufacturer’s settings.

Security Status Bar

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This article is excerpted from “Vista for IT Security Professionals.” To order this book, please visit Syngress.

As mentioned earlier, the new Security Status Bar used with Internet Explorer 7 keeps an eye out for you as you browse, and makes suggestions based on your browsing habits. In other words, if Internet Explorer feels you are at risk, it will warn you and suggest a way to protect yourself from the possible threat.

The Security Status Bar operates by alerting you to issues that it believes may harm your system, and gives you options to help you navigate a potential issue. Users can now very quickly be warned about Web sites that are either authentic or spoofed/malicious in nature. By enhancing access to digital certificate information, which in turn helps validate the trustworthiness of e-commerce Web sites, you can now shop online with more confidence.

Windows Defender Windows Defender enhances security and privacy protections when used with Internet Explorer 7. Although we will cover Windows Defender in more depth later in this chapter, it’s important to know how it works with Internet Explorer 7 to secure your browsing experience.

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s new spyware destroyer. When used with Internet Explorer 7, Windows Defender can help to scan all data traversing the browser for malware signatures. If it finds such a signature, it will work with Internet Explorer 7 and help you rid yourself of it. Defender will also keep an eye on spyware that is attached to (piggybacking onto) legitimate software which tries to install without your knowledge.

NOTE: Windows Defender is a powerful new tool and we will cover it later in another article. Be aware, however, of how it ties into Internet Explorer to provide security against malware threats.

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