Q

Security risks in Internet Explorer 6

Windows hardening expert Jonathan Hassell outlines some of the security concerns you need to be aware of when switching from Internet Explorer 7.0 to Internet Explorer 6.0.

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I want to take a step back from Internet Explorer 7 and start running Internet Explorer 6 again, but am concerned about the security risks. What do I need to worry about in Internet Explorer 6 that I do not need to worry about in Internet Explorer 7? What steps should I take to limit security risks during such a switch?
As far as what you should consider from IE 6 that IE7 might take off your mind:
  • IE 6 doesn't run in low privilege mode, so adware and spyware can infiltrate more easily.
  • There is no phishing filter in IE6, nor are there any obvious warning signs when you're about to enter a phishing site.
  • IE 6 doesn't have tabs out of the box. (Not security related, but it's certainly a convenience factor.)

Make sure you have an antivirus solution installed, watch out for sites that can give you spyware (a popup blocker is necessary here to prevent some automated installs) and check your zone settings to make sure the Internet isn't a trusted place. Or, better yet, install Firefox until you're ready to return to IE7.

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  • Adjusting security settings in Internet Explorer 6.0
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This was first published in July 2006

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