Reset Microsoft Internet Explorer

IE9 logoThere are times when internet browsers start to run sluggish and do not perform as they should do, it could be due to Malware, a rogue or incompatible browser add-on or that it is just slow. So the below FixIt tool can allow you to automatically try and fix IE or also on the page are the manual instructions, personally I would always start with the automatic option.

“Is browsing always slow in Internet Explorer? Does it frequently stop responding (hang), or stop working (crash)? Do you receive error messages that indicate that Internet Explorer has “encountered a problem and needs to close”? Or that a Visual C++ “runtime error” has occurred in Iexplore.exe?

If so, then you might want to try resetting Internet Explorer. When you reset Internet Explorer settings, all add-ons and customizations are deleted, and you basically start with a fresh version of Internet Explorer. This article helps you reset Internet Explorer.”

 Run the FixIt tool from HERE

Tech Support Phone Scams

Scam AlertToday I was reminded of the scams that can go around and the tech support one is one of the most commonly used ones and is sadly still used today!

So things to look out for….

Do not  trust unsolicited calls, do not province any personal information.                                                                                                                             

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

More information HERE

Microsoft to start Automatic Updates for IE in Windows XP, Vista and 7

ie_logoIn January of 2012 Microsoft will start pushing out updates for the aforementioned Windows Operating System versions, who’s users may have an older version of Internet Explorer (IE), this update will move you to the latest for your Windows version as XP cannot run IE9, so likely if you are running IE6 you will update to IE8.

Those users or corporate customers who have run the tool to deny any update in IE will have this option respected and you should not be updated to the latest version.

Today we are sharing our plan to automatically upgrade Windows customers to the latest version of Internet Explorer available for their PC. This is an important step in helping to move the Web forward. We will start in January for customers in Australia and Brazil who have turned on automatic updating via Windows Update. Similar to our release of IE9 earlier this year, we will take a measured approach, scaling up over time.

As always, when upgrading from one version of Internet Explorer to the next through Windows Update, the user’s home page, search provider, and default browser remains unchanged.

Good for Consumers, Developers and Enterprises

The Web overall is better – and safer – when more people run the most up-to-date browser. Our goal is to make sure that Windows customers have the most up-to-date and safest browsing experience possible, with the best protections against malicious software such as malware.

For consumers, the safety benefits are one of the key reasons that the industry has been moving towards automatic updates as the norm. This is increasingly important since the biggest online threat these days is socially engineered malware, which typically targets outdated software like Web browsers. The latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, which is based on data from over 600 million systems in over 100 countries, is good reading to give you a sense of risks that stem from outdated software.

We want to make updating to the best protection possible as fast and simple as we can for Windows customers. IE is how millions of Windows customers connect to the Web, so keeping that part of Windows updated at all times is critical to keeping them safe online. With automatic updates enabled through Windows Update, customers can receive IE9 and future versions of Internet Explorer seamlessly without any “update fatigue” issues.

I have to agree with many of the points raised in the post and the quotes from other sources in that keep your browser or even PC and all its software up to date is the best security option you can use, anything out of date is a risk.

Full information HERE from Ryan Gavin, General Manager, Internet Explorer Business and Marketing and Microsoft.

Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview

If you are that way inclined to test new applications then Microsoft do have Internet Explorer 10 available as a Platform Preview, not these previews are NOT full beta or Release Candidate (RC) versions, they are basic versions that have the core of the application as it may end up in a beta or RC version.

IE10 pp 001  IE10 pp 002 

IE10 pp 003

I have this preview running above in Windows 7.

All it does it give you a taster of how the browser may run on your PC, it has no main GUI menus as Internet Explorer 8 or 9 has, if you want to open a specific URL you will need to type or copy and paste it into the Page > Open dialogue box. Give it a whirl as it will run side by side with your normal browser so doesn’t remove IE8 or 9.

As reported by a few technology websites and blogs this week, IE10 will not be Vista compatible but will be only Windows 7 and more so Windows.next (aka Windows8 ) compatible.

Download HERE

Microsoft Update KB2524375 to Block Fraudulent Certificates

Privacy 001This update is one you will wish to make sure you have installed, its purpose is to block a set of Certificates that had the digital signature of Comodo as the Certification Authority on them, this could have lead to users going to an unsafe or spoofed website, which had been exploited.

Mozilla the makers of Firefox Browser have also updated Firefox to take into account of these fraudulent certificates, so do update that browser to the latest version.

Microsoft is aware of nine fraudulent digital certificates issued by Comodo, a certification authority present in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities Store on all supported versions of Microsoft Windows. Comodo advised Microsoft on March 16, 2011 that nine certificates had been signed on behalf of a third party without sufficiently validating its identity. These certificates may be used to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks against all Web browser users including users of Internet Explorer.

The following domains are affected by the certificates:

  • login.live.com
  • mail.google.com  
  • login.yahoo.com (3 Certificates)
  • login.skype.com
  • www.google.com
  • addons.mozilla.org
  • Global Trustee

You should have already been offered this update over the last few days via Windows Update, but if you have not then run Windows Update or you can visit the download site of KB2524375  – Microsoft Security Advisory: Fraudulent Digital Certificates could allow spoofing HERE (just choose your Windows version and download and double click the file to install)

Read the full text of the advisory HERE

If you wish to double check to see if you have this update already, just open up Windows Update and click Update History, then look down the list for KB2524375, if you have it then you are ok, if not go to Windows Update or download from the link posted earlier.

Speckie

SoftwareI have a very bad habit of trying to type way way too quickly on web forums etc. and I mistype or misspell a lot s a consequence of this, so previously I had been using the great ieSpell, but this does not allow real-time spell checking.

So I came across this free application called Speckie for Internet Explorer while looking over applications that had been mentioned on forums and websites, which does allow real-time spell checking so I thought I would give it a test.

On install the setup will download any applications you may need and it does need Visual Basic C++ by Microsoft, so don’t be alarmed if that also installs.

Capture

You can get a large set of dictionaries for your language HERE as various countries are supported.

An in usage its not bad, fairly quick to underline the spelling mistakes , which then you can right click to bring up a list of suggestions or you can add the word to your custom dictionary if you know the word is correct.

speckle 002  speckle 003

Only works in Internet Explorer but covers IE6,7,8,and 9. But don’t despair Firefox user as you do not need a spellchecker as it already has one built in which works good.

Download HERE                                                                                 (works in Windows XP, Vista and 7 in 32bit and 64bit)

Internet Explorer 9 goes final

Finally one of the versions of Internet Explorer (IE) that I feel is a great successor to previous versions of IE in IE9 has been released, it had been downloaded by near 40 million users around the globe in its Release Candidate (RC) form and has been adopted by 2% of Windows 7 users already.

clean_browser_interface  pinning_by_grabbing

This version of Internet Explorer has been redesigned in a few ways, it now uses the power of your Graphics Card to help graphics and video show more smoothly on screen, to the security benefits possibly being better than that of Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome. I run a test version of Mozilla Firefox in Minefield and its very quick but IE9 on the same PC for me is much quicker.

trusted_home  add-on-performance-advisor

Plusses

  • Pinned Sites – just drag the icon of the website in the address bar to the Task Bar in Windows 7).
  • Notification Bar – is better with much more information.
  • Download Manager – I have been DCRing (Design Change Request)this for the past few IE versions in beta, and its very good and also scans your downloads for potential malware for you.
  • Add On Performance Advisor – Lets you know what Add-ons maybe slowing our browsing down.
  • Tracking Protection – Stops sites you add to this list from tracking your progress around the site in question and where you have been on other sites.

Minuses

  • Bookmark Manager is not great and still doesn’t allow you to double click an entry to open the said site, you can right click and choose open, but too many clicks for my liking.

All the above said, its still early days and some more usage over the coming months with the release version will allow us to see if this is a great version of Internet Explorer, personally I think it is.

Give it a try and see what you think!

Learn more and Download from HERE                                                                               (compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7, both 32bit and 64bit, sadly not XP compatible)

Cookies good or bad

cookie_monster-eating-a-cookieWell as cookies do not harbour malware and are mistakenly thought to do so by many applications, so I thought I would follow this story as its very correct in that cookies just follow your movement around a particular website.

“The way websites track visitors and tailor ads to their behaviour is about to undergo a big shake-up.

From 25 May, European laws dictate that “explicit consent” must be gathered from web users who are being tracked via text files called “cookies”.

These files are widely used to help users navigate faster around sites they visit regularly.

Businesses are being urged to sort out how they get consent so they can keep on using cookies.”

It looks as if the European Union is to start forcing websites to alert users to their site/s, to what information is being gathered by the cookies. In the next version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE9) note it is a Release Candidate (test version) at present you do have the option to do this yourself and block the information a website gathers, with Tracking Protection.

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News

IE6 Countdown Timer

With Internet Explorer 6 having been around for near on 10yrs and with newer browsers not only Internet Explorer 8 and soon 9, but with Firefox and Opera all have improved security in browsing as well as speed. Microsoft are calling it a day of IE6 and have a countdown timer with information of % of users per country.

IE6countdown 001

“There are many benefits of upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer – improved speed, tabbed browsing, and better privacy settings to name a few.

The web has changed significantly over the past 10 years. The browser has evolved to adapt to new web technologies, and the latest versions of Internet Explorer help protect you from new attacks and threats.”

IE6countdown 002

While it was a great browser in its day its now time to migrate to a newer version of Internet Explorer or an alternative browser, if you are using IE6.

Webpage HERE