If you are using Internet Explorer, you can reduce the amount of vulnerabilities that it goes through when you are online. I have designed a comprehensive Internet Explorer support guide for you. It will walk you through the procedure step-by-step and educate you what how each setting helps secure your browser.
Open Internet Explorer. Click the Tools menu and select Internet Options from drop-down list. When in the Internet Options window, highlight the Security tab and you will see a list of internet security zone. Click the Internet zone and drag the security zone slider to High. It will be set to Medium by default. Afterwards, click the Custom level tab. You will be in the Security Settings - Internet Zone dialog box. Under Reset custom settings, click the drop-down arrow beside Reset to and select High. It will be set to Medium-High (Default) by default.
Also disable certain features like Java, ActiveX Control and plug-ins (disable all the settings related to them), Active Scripting, and cookies etc. through which most of the malware infections peep into to your computer, making it securer. These are always hidden fake free online virus removal software, tray clocks, audio/video songs etc. You can select the Disable button below each setting to disable it. Afterwards, click the Reset button. When prompted, confirm the action by clicking the Yes button. The settings will change to the High level. Hit the OK button to exit the dialog box. You will return to the Security tab. Similarly you can configure settings for other security zones to make Internet Explorer secured.
Now click the Privacy tab. you will see that the privacy settings for the internet zone will be set to Medium. These settings are for the cookies, small text files. Cookies are placed on a computer by all the websites to collect a user's information like online activities like website surfing and preference and credentials like email address and password etc. So, you can understand the harm cookies (especially if they are of malicious websites) can do to you and your computer. To block cookies from being placed on your computer without your permission, click the Override automatic cookie handling. Besides, select the option Prompt under both First-party Cookies and Third-party Cookies. This will prevent all the cookies from being set on your computer without your permission.
These will seek you permission first. Thereafter, you can either allow or deny them respectively for a genuine or suspected website. Also you can select the box beside Always allow session cookies. This option will allow certain session cookies to be set automatically and without your permission. You should select this option only when the amount of cookie prompts is in excess. For example, a website may have around 10-13 or more cookies that it wants to set on your computer. In that case, you will be prompted 10-13 or more times by the webpage to either accept or deny them before loading. It can be really irritating and time-consuming. So this option will reduce the number of prompts by allowing certain session cookies to be automatically set without your permission and save you a great deal of time. Yet again, you can leave this option unchecked if your priority is safety and security. Obviously, in that case the number of prompts doesn't matter.
Click the OK button to exit the Advanced Privacy Settings window. You will now return to the Privacy tab. Click the Sites button to manage each site individually. You can type in the URL\address of a website to either block or add it to your unsafe or safe zone respectively. Hit the OK button to return to Privacy. Make sure the Turn on Pop-up Blocker or Block pop-ups option is checked. If you use InPrivate Browsing, select the Disable toolbars and extensions when InPrivate Browsing starts option. Besides, drag the privacy settings slider to the High or Highest level to ensure maximum protection against phishing and spam etc.
Now click the Advanced tab. You will see advanced settings for various features. Look for Enable third-party browser extensions* under the Browsing heading. If it is checked by default, click to uncheck this option. Disabling this option will prevent the third-party browser add-ons from installing themselves on your browser and violating the privacy rights. Though some add-ons can prove useful to your browser, but they also are capable of automatically changing your webpage content without your permission, breaching your privacy. So disable this option by deselecting the box next to it.
Now under the heading International*, click to check the box Always show encoded addresses. Enabling this option will prevent the webpage spoofing, which abuses IDN (Internationalized Domain Names) and enables phishing attacks to make way into your computer. You may deselect the Play sounds in webpages option under Multimedia. This often leads phishing, insecure contents to attack your browser and then your computer. When done, hit the Apply button and then the OK button to exit the Internet Options window. Now you must close and reopen Internet Explorer to let the above mentioned changes to take place and enhance its security. If you don't restart your browser, these changes will not be effective.
You can also change the default programs that Windows automatically uses for each internet service. You will find this option under the Programs tab in the Internet Options window. Do not forget to click the Apply and then OK button to save and close the changes. Yet again, you must restart IE to make these changes effective.