When you install Vista, not only are you getting Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system, but you are also getting the latest version of their Web browser. Internet Explorer 7 includes several new security features from the ActiveX opt-in to the Pop-up Blocker.

The version of Internet Explorer 7 that ships with Vista includes two additional security features: Protected Mode and Parental Controls. Protected Mode prevents malicious users from changing any files or settings without your explicit permission. It is enabled by default for all security zones, except the Trusted Site zone. You can disable Protected Mode from the Security tab within the Internet Options window.

Businesses and home users can use the Parental Controls feature to prevent against unacceptable Web usage. Parental Controls can be configured on the Content tab within the Internet Options window. It is also accessible through the Vista Control Panel.

To start configuring Parental Controls, click the Parental Controls button on the Internet Option’s Content tab. The Parental Controls window will appear, listing all the user accounts configured on the computer. Select the Standard User account that you want to setup Parental Controls for.

Under Parental Controls, click the On, enforce current settings option. Once enabled, you will be able to control settings for the following areas:

  • Web restrictions
  • Time limits
  • Games
  • Programs

ActiveX opt-in
Internet Explorer 7 also introduces the ActiveX opt-in. Previous versions of the Web browser did little to protect against harmful ActiveX controls. With ActiveX opt-in, ActiveX controls that are installed on your computer are disabled. If a Web site needs to run one of the disabled controls, you can choose whether to allow the control to run or not.

You can also disable ActiveX opt-in on a per-zone basis. By default, it is enabled on the Internet zone and the Restricted Sites zone. To disable this feature, open the Internet Options window and select the Security tab. Click the appropriate zone and click the Custom level button.

[tags]internet explorer, vista, ie 7, ie7[/tags]