Change security and privacy settings for Internet Explorer 11

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Privacy settings

By adjusting Internet Explorer's privacy settings, you can affect how websites monitor your online activity. For example, you can decide which cookies are stored, choose how and when sites can use your location info, and block unwanted pop-ups.

Cookies are small files that websites put on your PC to store information about you and your preferences. Cookies can make your browsing experience better by letting sites remember your preferences or letting you avoid signing in each time you visit certain sites. However, some cookies might put your privacy at risk by tracking sites that you visit. For more info, see Delete and manage cookies in Internet Explorer.

When Do Not Track is turned on, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track request to the sites you visit and to the third parties whose content is hosted on those sites to let the sites know that you would prefer not to be tracked. For more info, see Do Not Track.

Browsers store some info—like your search history—to help improve your experience on the web. When you use InPrivate Browsing, info like passwords, search history, and page history is deleted once you close the tab.

To open an InPrivate Browsing session, right–click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar, and select Start InPrivate Browsing.

To turn off add-ons in InPrivate Browsing sessions

  1. Open the desktop, and then select the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  3. On the Privacy tab, select the Disable toolbars and extensions when InPrivate Browsing starts check box, and select OK.

Location Services lets sites ask for your physical location to improve your experience. For example, a mapping site can request your physical location to center the map for you. Internet Explorer will let you know when a site wants to use your location. When this happens, select Allow once to let a site use your location just one time. If you want the site to use your location each time you visit, select Always allow.

To turn off location sharing

If you don't want sites to ask for your physical location, you can turn off location sharing. Here's how:

  1. Open Internet Explorer by selecting the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Click the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  3. On the Privacy tab, under Location, select the Never allow websites to request your physical location check box.

Pop-up Blocker limits or blocks pop-ups on sites that you visit. You can choose the level of blocking you prefer, turn on or off notifications when pop-ups are blocked, or create a list of sites that you don't want to block pop-ups on. Pop-up Blocker settings only apply to Internet Explorer.

To turn Pop-up Blocker on or off

  1. Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select or clear the Turn on Pop-up Blocker check box, and then select OK.

Block all pop-ups

  1. Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select Settings.

  3. In the Pop-up Blocker settings dialog box, under Blocking level, set the blocking level to High: Block all pop-ups (Ctrl + Alt to override).

  4. Select Close, and then select OK.

Turn off notifications when pop-ups are blocked

  1. Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select Settings.

  3. In the Pop-up Blocker settings dialog box, clear the Show Notification bar when a pop-up is blocked check box.

  4. Select Close, and then select OK.

Tracking Protection helps prevent information about your browsing from being sent to third-party content providers on sites you visit. Think of a Tracking Protection Lists as a “do not call” list. Internet Explorer blocks any third-party content from sites on the list, and limits the info that those third-party sites can collect about you.

 

Security zones

By changing the security settings, you can customize how Internet Explorer helps protect your PC from potentially harmful or malicious web content. Internet Explorer automatically assigns all websites to a security zone: Internet, Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites. Each zone has a different default security level that determines what kind of content can be blocked for that site. Depending on the security level of a site, some content can be blocked until you choose to allow it, ActiveX controls might not run automatically, or you might see warning prompts on certain sites. You can customize the settings for each zone to decide how much protection you do or don't want.

  1. Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  2. Select the Security tab and customize your security zone settings in these ways:

    • To change settings for any security zone, select the zone icon, and then move the slider to the security level that you want.

    • To create your own security settings for a zone, select the zone icon, and then select Custom level and choose the settings that you want.

    • To restore all security levels to their original settings, select the Reset all zones to default level button.

  1. Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

  2. Select the Security tab, choose one of the security zone icons (Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites), and then select Sites. You can add sites to the zone you chose, or delete sites that you no longer want in this zone.

  3. If you chose Local intranet in the previous step, select Advanced, and then do one of the following:

    • Add a site. Enter a URL into the Add this website to the zone box, and then select Add.

    • Remove a site. Under Websites, select the URL you want to remove, and then select Remove.

Enhanced Protected Mode makes it harder for malware to run in Internet Explorer.

To turn on or off Enhanced Protected Mode

  1. Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, and then select Internet Options.

  2. On the Advanced tab, under Security, select (or clear) the Enable Enhanced Protected Mode check box, and then select OK. You'll need to restart your PC before this setting takes effect.

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