Cybercriminals continue to rely on deceptive social engineering attacks to prey on unsuspecting web users. Whether it's via an email that appears to be from your bank, a search result for popular content such as games and movies, an advertisement or a link in an instant message promising free stuff, or a fake notification from a social networking site, there is virtually no trick they haven't tried. Internet Explorer 8 includes Smartscreen Filter, so you can browse with more confidence knowing you have a greater chance of being protected when you are targeted by one of these attacks.
SmartScreen Filter is a set of technologies designed to help protect you from evolving web and social engineering threats. If a malicious website is detected, the entire site is blocked. Smartscreen Filter can also provide a "surgical block" of malware or phishing hosted on legitimate websites—blocking just the malicious content without affecting the rest of the site.
Another new feature is protection from malicious downloads. If you attempt a download that has been reported as unsafe, Internet Explorer 8 will block the download and show you a warning. You'll still have the option to continue with the download if you're certain that it's safe.
We recommend that you keep the SmartScreen filter turned on. You can enable or disable it at any time. You can also help improve the web for everyone by reporting suspected malicious sites.
For more information, see SmartScreen Filter: frequently asked questions.
Cross-site scripting attacks try to exploit vulnerabilities in the websites you visit. In a cross-site scripting attack, you might receive an email that contains a tampered website address. Once you click the link, you are directed to a legitimate website that has been compromised to contain malicious content that can capture keystrokes and record your login and password. These attacks have emerged as a leading online threat. Internet Explorer 8 includes Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Filter, which can detect these types of attacks and disable the harmful scripts. XSS Filter is turned on by default to help protect you.
Click-jacking is an online threat whereby an attacker's webpage deceives you into clicking malicious content by disguising it as legitimate content. For example, a legitimate webpage might be hidden as a "frame" inside a malicious page. When you click in the malicious page, you're actually clicking something else: buying something from the site, changing some settings on your browser or computer, or viewing advertisements that cybercriminals get paid for. Internet Explorer 8 enables website developers to protect their sites from these kinds of attacks by preventing their legitimate pages from being "framed."
Internet Explorer 8 is the first browser to provide domain highlighting, so you can always know which website you're visiting at a glance. With domain highlighting, you can more easily interpret web addresses (URLs) to help you avoid deceptive sites that attempt to trick you with misleading addresses. It's easier to identify the sites you visit with domain highlighting because the domain name in the Address bar appears prominently in black, with the remainder of the URL in appearing in a lighter gray.
When checking email at an Internet café or shopping for a gift on a family PC, you don't want to leave any trace of your web browsing activity. InPrivate Browsing helps prevent your browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and user names and passwords from being retained by the browser, leaving no evidence of your browsing or search history.
You can start InPrivate Browsing by opening a new tab and clicking Browse with InPrivate or by clicking InPrivate Browsing on the Safety menu. Once you turn on InPrivate Browsing, Internet Explorer 8 will launch a new browser session that won't record any information, including searches or webpage visits. To end your InPrivate Browsing session, simply close the browser window.
Websites increasingly pull content in from multiple sources, providing tremendous value to you and your favorite sites alike. But you might not be aware that some content, images, ads, and analytics are being provided from third-party websites or that these websites have the ability to potentially track your behavior across multiple websites. InPrivate Filtering provides an added level of control and choice about the information that third-party websites can potentially use to track your browsing activity.
InPrivate Filtering is turned off by default and must be enabled on a per-session basis. To use this feature, click InPrivate Filtering from the Safety menu. To access and manage different filtering options for Internet Explorer 8, click InPrivate Filtering Settings on the Safety menu. To end your InPrivate Browsing session, simply close the browser window.
Note: Because InPrivate Filtering is designed to watch for and block only third-party content that appears with a high frequency across sites you visit, no content is blocked until such levels are detected, nor is any such content blocked which is served directly by the site you are visiting.
Depending on your web browsing activity and sites visited, the amount of time it can take before such content is automatically blocked can vary widely. However, at any time, you can customize which third-party content is blocked or allowed by clicking InPrivate Filtering Settings on the Safety menu.
For more information, see InPrivate: frequently asked questions.
If a website or add-on causes a tab to crash in Internet Explorer 8, only that tab is affected. The browser itself remains stable and other tabs remain unaffected, minimizing any disruption to your browsing experience.
If one or more of your tabs unexpectedly closes or crashes, your tabs are automatically reloaded and you are returned to the site you were on before the crash.
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