Computer Tip: Helping to protect Internet Explorer

Here are a couple tips to secure Internet Explorer on a stand-alone computer [could apply on a domain as well]. Both of these tips would help prevent having crap like MyWebSearch or Conduit “software” from taking over the browser.

The first tip is to disable the changing of the home page in Internet Explorer.

To apply to all users, use the following registry setting:

 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel]
“HomePage”=dword:00000001

On the other hand, if you just want to apply the setting to an individual user [usually on a multi-user computer], use the following setting:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel]
“HomePage”=dword:00000001

At any time, you can change the default home page by exiting Internet Explorer, change the settings to zero, go into Internet Explorer and change the home page, exit Internet Explorer and then change the setting back to one.

No reboot is required. Internet Explorer 7 or greater required. When enforced, the option to change is greyed out.
In the second tip, you can prevent changing the default search provider. While you can have more than one provider and can manually choose a different search provider for a particular search [unsure why someone would do that], most will stick with one and have a backup.

To apply to all users, use the following registry setting:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions]
“NoChangeDefaultSearchProvider”=dword:00000001

On the other hand, if you just want to apply the setting to an individual user [usually on a multi-user computer], use the following setting:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions]
“NoChangeDefaultSearchProvider”=dword:00000001

Note: It doesn’t stop the option “Prevent programs from suggesting changes to my default search provider.”

No reboot is required. Internet Explorer 7 or greater required.

Why MyWebSearch is not considered malware it is considered by most as spyware. It obviously uses its own search engine and those who created it are getting paid by unethical people to place their links first. [Hmmm, does Google do that? Another story.] Conduit software isn’t malware either but it seems to get into any browser. It probably more nuisance-ware than anything else. But like MyWebSearch, few like it.

These and others can be preventable by reading what the installation update software is doing to your system. Don’t just click “Next” all the time. Even better, if given the option choose a custom installation [hopefully you do get a way to make sure this crap can be avoided.

As usual, you should test the changes first in a non-production environment [where applicable] first before applying. Also as usual, use at your own risk. Unsure how to use the registry settings or unfamiliar with the registry? Ask a professional.

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About ebraiter
computer guy

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