We all know that browsing the web can be a risk to your security and as hackers and scammers become ever more sophisticated with their lines of attack even experienced web users can fall victim.

However, you can use the protection settings in Internet Explorer to help give you a first line of defence when it comes to your security. Go to the Tools icon and select Internet options from the drop-down menu. Click on the security tab and here you can set your preferred security level for browsing.

There are three automatically configured security options to choose from, click on the Internet icon and then move the slider up or down to choose from: Medium, Medium-high or High level security. The High setting will impact on the content that many, even safe, websites can display, but it will protect your PC more robustly than the other options. If you want you can customise the settings yourself and choose exactly what can and can’t be done online and with your browser. In most instances the medium-high setting is fine, but you can increase security if you’re wary of a particular website’s credentials and then swap it back at a later date.

If you visit sites regularly that you trust and know to be okay you can choose a separate security level for them by clicking on Trusted Sites. Add a site URL to the trusted sites zone and then lower the security level. Internet Explorer has become more and more secure over the years, but you can’t rely on a browser alone to protect you completely and you should make sure that you don’t click on any links that look suspect or enter your personal details without being sure that the site is legitimate.

Staying safe online is more a case of being sensible than locking everything down as the more restricted your browsing is the less fun and useful the safe parts of the Internet become. By using a balance of built-in security tools and common sense your web experience can be a good and safe one.

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