Quick Check: Is Internet Explorer Safe?

“For a complete guide to security, check out ‘Security + Study Guide and DVD Training System’ from Amazon.com

You can check for some of the same items on other browsers, this article focus is primarily on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

IE Quick Check

In this section I will cover the essentials:

  • Verify that you are running a 128-bit browser. On the Help menu, click About Internet Explorer. Your browser’s encryption strength will be listed in the Cipher Strength value field.

    • Open up Internet Explorer => Help = About Internet Explorer

  • Right in the center of the dialog box you see clearly that your IE browser is at 128.
  • Many banking facilities will not allow you to bank online without the proper browser strength.
  • This can be upgraded quickly by going to Microsoft’s website.
  • The following link has the pack for every IE browser still supported.


  • With IE still open, drop down the Tools menu => click Internet Options => Security tab.

    • Verify that your security zones are set to their default levels.
    • Many times the levels get changed by the scripts in the pages your browser reads. Make sure if you did set them yourself, your settings are the right ones. 

  • With IE still open, drop down the Tools menu =>click Internet Options => click the Advanced tab

    • Verify that your Advanced settings are set to their default levels
    • I personally check the ‘automatically check for Internet Explorer updates’ for personal preference, other than that, all the other settings selected will provide you with safety, especially the fact that IE will now try to check itself for updates and get some much needed security updates if its been neglected.

  • Visit Windows Update constantly

    • Make sure you have this set up on your system, if you haven’t you need to do it immediately. Go to Windows Update and download any needed patches you need and get them installed for your safety.

Other ‘Very Important’ Ideas

  • Browse safe on systems you do banking on, or have critical data on.
  • Do not go to websites that appear to rewrite your systems. If any page I hit automatically tries to rewrite my homepage, I am never going there again. (On my ‘clean’ PC that is…) you don’t want any more headaches in life – this is not the PC you want your children surfing or you banking on when the sites you are visiting have enough power to flip some switches in your operating system… you should be at least somewhat concerned.
  • Run some spyware cleaner on your system. You can get a ton of them online for free.
  • Run the Disk Cleanup wizard on your system. Get all the old files out you don’t need, especially all those temporary internet files that hold a hold swarm of nasty critters in your machine. Delete them, they’ll come back again. 

  • Make sure your Antivirus software is updated and functioning properly. Do a full system scan.  Make sure you set it to full, make sure everything is checked with updated signatures.
  • If any of the tools I just mentioned are foreign to you start asking around in the Windows Security Forum on this site. You will need them.


In this article we covered the basics of making sure your browser environment is sqarued away so you can do some serious shopping online this season – happy holidays everyone, see you next year. Stay tuned for some outstanding articles in the new year!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top