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Securing IE against hacker attacks

It may be your Internet Explorer (IE) web browser that may be the most vulnerable point in your computer security against hacker attacks. But with proper configuration of the browser and appropriate tools and tweaks you can make web browsing a lot safer and secure.

Signs of a potential hacker attack on your PC may include annoying pop-ups, hijacked home page and constant browser crashes. It is possible that crashes of Internet Explorer may also be due to corruption of browser or Windows files. But if problems with your web browser are accompanied by pop-ups, startup programs, hijacked homepage and undesired toolbars, it is more likely that your computer is under a hacker or spyware attack.

More than 150 loopholes in Internet Explorer 6 have been reported since its 2001 release. That implies that there are over 150 ways for hackers to attack your PC. Fortunately Microsoft has always provided timely patches for the loopholes to apply them with proper tweaks to make IE as secure a browser as any other.

Making IE secure requires the newest version of the program which is easy to download from the Microsoft website. Updates with the latest patches also need to be ensured. With the auto-update option in Windows, you can be sure of running the safest version available.

Be careful about what you install by ensuring you don't blindly install any software that comes your way while browsing, simply because it instructs you to install it. Another important step is to activate security zone settings in Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer has four zones- Internet, Local intranet, trusted and restricted. In the Internet zone are websites specific to this zone. Setting high security level is best for this zone but proper functioning of some trusted websites might be hampered. If this is the case, put them under the trusted zone with the security level set low. Local intranet comprises sites on your local network where you have a membership. Restricted zone is where harmful websites can be blacklisted. High security level in this zone will keep websites from running any potentially harmful content on your web browser and therefore expose it to the risk of malicious attacks.

Your email client needs to be properly secured as well. Due to Internet Explorer's use of Outlook as a default email client, it cannot be overlooked. Finally a good anti-virus and anti-spyware tool should be used, along with regular updates of the latest definitions. An effective firewall will also be useful in restricting access to anything on the Internet that you have not granted permission to.

By using these tips and tricks, there will be less reason for security concerns while using Internet Explorer.

» SPAMfighter News - 8/25/2006

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