INTERNET OPTIONS  -  SECURITY TAB


The second TAB (window) on the Internet Options window is the Security TAB. To see it simply click on it, on its Window Title.

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.0 - Click on the TAB (window) with the title Security

Although the security window (Fig 2.1) gives you the ability to change extremely advanced internet security settings, which is an extremely advanced subject, I will be showing you how to restore/reset Internet Explorer 11's Security Zones (settings) back to their default (preprogrammed) levels. You normally need to restore/reset one or more of your security zones (explained below) when a piece of Malware (Malicious Software) has messed them up (i.e lowered them) and/or when Protection Software has set them too high and/or enabled/disabled certain settings.

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.1 - The Security TAB (window)

Internet Security is split into four Zones. The Restricted Zone, which is used to store a list of banned websites (as used by SpyBot for example). The Trusted Zone, which is used to store a list of trusted websites (manually typed by you). The Intranet Zone, which is a zone for Intranet users (i.e Company Networks). And finally the Internet Zone, which is used for all other websites not affected/listed by the other three zones.

To restore each of the four zones back to their default level in one go you simply click on the RESET ALL ZONES TO DEFAULT LEVEL button (Fig 2.1 above) and Internet Explorer 11 does the rest. However. What do you do if you are happy with the current settings for some zones but not happy with the current settings for the other zones? It would not make sense to default all zones just because you are unhappy with one zone for example. Especially if some of the zones have been fine-tuned by protection software - Defaulting all zones could leave you with a security risk as some of the settings might then be set too high/low. The solution is to click on a zone you are unhappy with and set its security level accordingly.

I will now take you through the first two zones, as the below applies to all zones. Starting with the Internet zone, as it is already selected (Fig 2.1 above), first click on the DEFAULT LEVEL button (Fig 2.2 below) and then click on the APPLY button to set the default level (Medium-High) settings for this zone (Fig 2.3).

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.2 - The current setting for this zone is High

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.3 - The default (normal) setting for this zone is Medium-High

By applying the default (Medium-High) level settings you are undoing any changes made by Protection Software for example and you may also be making your security too low, classed as at risk by some protection software. Good protection software will normally warn you of this and/or adjust its own settings accordingly. You do not need to understand what the default settings for Medium-High are (behind the scenes) but only that you are restoring this zone's settings back to its default level (normal state).


Now select the Local Intranet zone, by clicking on it (Fig 2.4), and then make sure its current settings are set to the default level of Medium-Low (by clicking on its DEFAULT LEVEL button and then on its APPLY button).

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.4 - The current setting for this zone is High

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.5 - The default (normal) setting for this zone is Medium-Low

If you click on the DEFAULT LEVEL button but then not on the APPLY button (i.e you click on the DEFAULT LEVEL button and then on the CANCEL button) that zone's settings will not be set to the default level. So you must apply your settings straight away by either clicking on the APPLY button after each settings change or by clicking on the OK button when you have finished with Internet Options.

If the default level is already set for a zone its DEFAULT LEVEL button will be unavailable (Fig 2.6).

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.6 - This zone was previously set to Default Level

To change a zone back to its default level you normally click on the DEFAULT LEVEL button. However, you can also change it back to its default level by using the Slider button. This next example shows you how to change the Trusted zone back to its default level using the slider button.

Left click on the slider button (Fig 2.7) and, whilst keeping the left mouse button held down, move (drag) the mouse pointer down (or up) to the MEDIUM level. Then release the left mouse button to make the DEFAULT LEVEL button unavailable - If the DEFAULT LEVEL button is still available you will need to make sure the ENABLE PROTECTED MODE setting is unticked. This is because the Trusted Zone is about Trust and therefore does not need Protection Mode enabled. When a zone is on its default level you still then have to click on the APPLY button to set its Default Level settings. The APPLY button only becomes available when you change a security setting (level).

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.7 - Move (drag) the Slider button from HIGH to MEDIUM

Internet Explorer 11 Security Tab

Fig 2.8 - Untick ENABLE PROTECTED MODE, if need be, to set the Default Level.

Protection Mode is a feature of Internet Explorer 11 that makes it more difficult for Malware (Malicious Software) to be installed on your computer. Internet Explorer 11 warns you when a webpage tries to install/run software and when a program would run outside of Internet Explorer 11, and outside of Protected Mode, because that program might have more access to your computer than you would like. As said, the Trusted Zone does not set (tick) ENABLE PROTECTED MODE when it is using its Default Level settings simply because it trusts the trusted websites listed in its zone.


To see what the settings are for a particular level, and/or to change the settings directly, first click on the CUSTOM LEVEL button and then change each setting accordingly if need be.



Fig 2.9  CUSTOM LEVEL: For Advanced Use and Advanced Users only

Extreme Caution: CUSTOM LEVEL is an extremely advanced part of Internet Options and so will not be discussed further here, as changing a setting directly could mess up the computer if you do not fully understand that setting. You have been warned.