Security Settings


Working with Internet Explorer 6 Security Settings
Published: March 26, 2003

As soon as you start using Internet Explorer 6, it takes precautionary measures to help you have a secure browsing experience. Find out how Internet Explorer accomplishes this and what you can do to tailor the security settings to your own preferences.


About Security Zones

Preserving the security of your computer when you browse the Web is a balancing act. The more open you are to downloads of software and other content, the greater your exposure to risk, for example, the risk of downloading software that could damage your data. However, the more restrictive your settings, the less usable—and useful—the Web becomes.

 

The security features of Internet Explorer 6 aim to strike an effective balance. When you first install Internet Explorer, it corrals all Web sites into a single zone—the Internet zone—and stands guard with a medium level of security. This helps you browse securely, but should prompt you before downloading potentially unsafe content.

 

Internet Explorer also offers three other zones, including Trusted and Restricted zones, to which you can assign Web sites that you trust completely or that arouse your suspicion. You can add sites you trust, like Windows Update—where you can download the latest security updates for your computer or operating system—to the Trusted sites zone. Top of pageTop of page


Add a Web Site to the List of Trusted or Restricted Sites

Internet Explorer sets up the Trusted zone with a low security level to make it easier for you to do such things as download software without prompting. Add a site to this zone only if you trust that it would never cause harm to your computer. On the other hand, the Restricted zone imposes the highest security level for sites you deem untrustworthy; when you visit these sites, Internet Explorer will prompt you at every turn.

 

  1. Go the Web site you want to add to a zone.
  2. Press ALT+D to select the Web address, and press CTRL+C to copy it to the Windows Clipboard.
  3. This saves you from having to type it later.

    Web address area on the Internet Explorer toolbar
    Web address area on the Internet Explorer toolbar
  4. On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  5. Click the Security tab, and then click the security zone where you want to add the site: Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites.
    Because all sites are by default already in the Internet zone, you cannot add Web sites to it.
  6. Click the Sites button. See step 5 in the image below.


  7. Internet Options box
    Internet Options box

  8. In the Add this Web site to the zone box, press CTRL+V to paste in the Web address. See step 6 in the image below.

  9. Click the Add button.


  10. Trusted sites box

    Trusted sites box

    Note:
    If Internet Explorer asks for confirmation, you may be trying to add a site that is not secure. Internet Explorer will accept only sites to the Trusted list that make a secure connection—for example, secure banking or shopping sites. To identify such a site, look for https:// in the Web address. If you want to add an unsecured Web site (for example, a site that does not have https:// in the Web address), click to remove the check in the Require server verification box. Be careful! Only do this for Web sites whose content you trust 100 percent.

  11. If you want to add more sites to this zone now, you can go back to step 6 and type any additional Web addresses into the Add this Web site to the zone box, and then click the Add button.
  12. Click OK twice.

TipTip: To see the list of Web sites you’ve added to Trusted and Restricted sites, on the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options. Click the Security tab, and then click either Trusted sites or Restricted sites. Click the Sites button to see the list. When you’re finished, click Cancel twice.

 


Remove a Web Site from a Security Zone
  1. On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab, and then click the security zone where you want to remove the site: Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites.
  3. Click the Sites button.
  4. In the Web sites box, click the name of the Web site you want to remove.
  5. Click the Remove button, and then click OK twice.

 

Change the Security Level of a Zone

Follow these steps to raise or lower the threshold of security for any zone—for example, you might want to raise the security setting of your Trusted sites to medium-low.

  1. On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab, and then click the zone for which you want to change the security level.
  3. Drag the slider to set the security level to High, Medium, Medium-low, or Low.
  4. Internet Explorer describes each option to help you decide which level to choose, asking for confirmation when you loosen its restrictions.

    Internet Options box
    Internet Options box

  5. When you’ve finished, click OK.

TipTip: If you change your mind and want to return to the default settings in Internet Explorer, follow steps 1 and 2 above. Click the Default Level button, and then click OK.




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