Sunday, 14 April 2013

Internet Explorer 10's New Tricks

I've been using google Chrome for a while because of it's faster loading of web pages than other browsers I've tried in my Windows 7 laptop. Time is gold, and the faster the information is accessed, the more productive a surfer becomes!
Not until lately that I have noticed my internet explorer is updated to the newest version, Internet Explorer 10, that I've became curious what's the difference with the previous versions. Though the looks of it doesn't have much difference like the previous, the minimalist look, the ability to hide components like the menu bar, favourites bar and so on, and the address bar that doubles as search engine bar and his time without necessary to tweak the setting to activate it.
So what's new?

1. Easy change, add or remove  default home page.

Everybody has a favourite website that every time you are online, you want to get there with a click of a button by setting a default home page. But sometimes things can go wrong that a browser hijacker have changed the default setting. Or your taste has changed and need to go to a different site this time, or just need to add another page as a default.
The previous IE versions let you choose the home page by going to internet explorer settings. If you are on a page you like, this time wit the IE10, a click to the home icon will do the trick. In case you can not see the home icon, right click on an empty spot where the tabs are (1), tick command (2), the icons should be visible after ticking, then click the drop down menu besides the home button (3) and you can easily change the home page(4), add another one, or remove it.

2. Launch websites from the start up menu

Another interesting feature is the ability to launch websites from the start up menu. This is done by pinning the website that interest you into the start up menu items, so you can access it anytime by clicking the start button, or pressing the windows key button. Steps below.

Go to a website you want to pin(1), click the cog icon at the top right of the browser(2), choose Add to Start Menu (3), click Add (4) at the pop up dialogue box. You can now access the pinned site by pressing the windows button, or clicking the start menu(5) and the pinned site will be available with the start up menus(6).

Pinned sites are launched independently on a new browser, with the site's favicon and not with the usual internet explorer icon at the left side of the browser (1) and at the task bar (2). I do not know why using chrome can not render the favicons at all!


3. Incognito browsing by default

If you are concerned about online security, IE10 is defaulted to Do Not Track browsing mode. This means the advertisers and websites are told not to record and track your browsing habits. When on, your computer will also delete automatically all traces of your browsing history including cookies from website once you have closed your browser.  This can also improve the problem that brought about by outdated website cache that can cause problems in accessing a site, uploading pictures, or websites not rendered correctly. 

You can check if this is on by clicking the cog icon(1), click Internet Options(2), go to the Advance tab(3), scroll down to the Security (4) section, and tick the Always Send Do Not Track Header(5) if it is not ticked, press Apply(6) and re start your computer.

4. Protects you from malicious sites and suspicious downloads 

The smart screen, although not new, but is a good security measure worth mentioning. As normal surfers do not really know about how safe a site is, specially when they are contained in an email, facebook or twitter messages. The worst is, if the links are rendered by URL shortening services like, adfly and others,  it is difficult to say the final destination website is. This doubles or triples the chances of getting at an infected site.

Sometimes even you are at a legitimate site, those pop ups and advertising banners are injected with malicious codes without the knowledge of the site owner. Turning smart screen on is another layer of protection that can detect such threat before they could get entry into your system by your web browser.

To turn it on, click the cog wheel icon(1), click Safety (2) and Turn On Smart Screen Filter (3).  Once it is on and if you happen to browse on a certain website that has been reported with malicious contents like Phishing, Malware, or other scarewares, IE10 alerts you with a message(6).

If you suspect that a site is infected or distributing malwares, you can also let Microsoft know by reporting the site at one of the options when you are turning smart screen on (3).

Smart Screen does also work hand in hand with the download manager. It shields you from downloading potentially hazardous add ons and programs by analysing these and gives you an informed choice whether to run, save or delete the files in question. I usually delete these files as recommended by the Smart Screen!

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