Initially the beta testing of Internet Explorer 9 and then the build up towards the official launch of the browser, there has been always talks about the performance of IE 9 through the use of its hardware accelerated graphics and the experience which in overall terms has been said to be quite immersive.
There has been very less or no talks about the improvement in security that the browser has to offer.
Let us consider 4 ways through which IE 9 makes browsing a lot safer and far more secure:
1. Protection against Tracking.
Recently there has been a lot of stir in privacy sub domain of information security and people seem to be more inclined to the fact that their browsing habits shouldn’t be tracked through by the ad networks as they do today. Microsoft, unlike its competitors, Yahoo and Google has come out with a dual hybrid approach to deal with the do-not-track feature and this seems to be by far the most welcomed option. The first feature that has been included in IE 9 is the option of Protection Lists which allows users to specify blacklists which users can modify to keep the sites from gathering their data. The 2nd approach under the belt is the one involving proactively alerting sites about the privacy preferences of the users through the HTTP Header.
2. SmartScreen Application Reputation.
Many a times users are warned of the fact, while they download some file of the internet, that the file of that particular extension may be malicious if executed. This feature is not so new, and users have been seeing this often lately in the version 7 and 8 if Internet Explorer. But this particular message was very generic and didn’t reveal much information and on top of that this message popped up for every single file downloaded from the Internet. The SmartScreen Application Reputation ascertains the reputation of the file by checking out on whether the file has been digitally signed by its author, the author’s reputation and the total number of times the file has been downloaded previously by other users. All these factors determine the relative level of trust that the file should be assigned.
3. Browser Session Segregation
Windows 7 came along with the feature of pinning items to the task bar. When URLs are pinned through IE 9 and are then later opened, they would open in their own different browser session which would be completely independent of the desktop browser. Browser Session Segregation separates the session cookies of the newly opened session and makes it inaccessible from the other windows or tabs in the main browser. This makes the session related information safe and the privacy of the user intact.
4. Stripped Down Execution
Continuing on with the browsing of pinned sites through Windows 7 IE 9, the browser when launched would execute without any BHOs (Browser Helper Objects) or any add-ons which might have been installed on the main browser. This makes the browsing experience of the users more secretive and oriented towards protection of browsing habits as only the core functionalities of IE 9 are available and there are not external add-ons present that might result in privacy leaks.
The above four are not just the only 4 ways of safe browsing through IE 9, but other options are also present such as Data Execution Prevention (DEP), but according to what I have researched, the above 4 are the best ones out of all the safe and private browsing experience.