Managing the Internet Explorer Security Zones

Internet Explorer includes 4 predefined security zones: Internet, Local Intranet, Trusted Sites &  Restricted Sites. There is also a 5th zone viz the My Computer zone (which contains files on your local computer). This however can be configured only from the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK); these settings are not available in the browser interface.

Internet Explorer Security Zones

You can set the security options that you want for each zone, and also add or remove Web sites from the zones, depending on your level of trust in a Web site.

  1. Internet Zone: This zone contains Web sites that are not on your computer or on your local intranet,or that are not already assigned to another zone.
  2. Local Intranet Zone: It contains all network connections that were established by using a Universal Naming Convention path, and Web sites that bypass the proxy server or have names that do not include periods.
  3. Trusted Sites Zone: This zone contains Web sites that you trust as safe.
  4. Restricted Sites Zone: This zone contains Web sites that you do not trust.

To customize a security zone. Open Internet Explorer > Settings > Internet Options > Security tab. Here you can select the zone and then choose the security levels you wish to set for these zones, individually. The default settings are the best for most users.

IE Security Zones

If you are facing pop-ups, you may want to check out if any website urls have been maliciously added to your Trusted sites zone. If you do find any such suspicious one’s, simply delete them.

You can also add websites to the Restricted sites zone, which you wish to block.

ZonedOut is a 3rd party portable freeware utility which lets you Add, Delete, Import, Export websites and build a Black/WhiteList in the Internet Explorers security zones, easily.  It now includes Restricted, Trusted and Intranet Zones.

zonedout

If you want to, you can add a list of ‘bad’ sites from SpywareWarrior, to your Restricted sites zone. This list is called IE-SpyAd For ZonedOut.

IE-SPYAD adds a long list of sites and domains associated with known advertisers, marketers, porn-sites, crack-sites, malware pushers and crapware pushers to the Restricted sites zone of Internet Explorer. Once you merge this list of sites and domains into the Registry, the web sites for these companies will not be able to use cookies, ActiveX controls, Java applets, or scripting to compromise your privacy or your PC while you surf the Net. Nor will they be able to use your browser to push unwanted pop-ups, cookies, or auto-installing programs on your PC.

Please note that IE-SPYAD is not an ad blocker. It will not block standard banner ads in Internet Explorer. What this Restricted sites list of known advertisers and crapware pushers.

ZonedOut simply automates the process of loading the IE-SPYAD sites list (called ie-ads) into Internet Explorer’s Restricted sites zone.

Early versions of Internet Explorer 8 had stability/performance issues with large numbers of domains loaded in the Restricted Sites zone. Those issues are now resolved. With the release of the June 2009 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 8.0, large Restricted Sites lists such as IE-SPYAD can be used with Internet Explorer 8.0.

If you change your mind, you can always remove this list of website/s easily using the Remove or Remove  All option from its Menu.

As I always say, before making any changes to your system, its always best to create a system restore point, first!

Additional Reads:

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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