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Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 / SP2 Overview

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 / SP2 Overview - PCSTATS
Abstract: Once your PC is updated with Windows XP Service Pack 2 there are a few things you'll need to know about its new features and security options.
Filed under: Operating System Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Microsoft Aug 17 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Operating System > Microsoft Windows XP

Testing the Firewall Coverage

As an experiment, we disabled Zonealarm. The XP firewall was immediately enabled 'behind the scenes,' providing seamless protection. Again very nice.

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We were also fond of the new Security Center application. This provides easy, centralized access to firewall, update and Internet security options, as well as showing you the current security status of your PC. Very user friendly.

WindowsXP Service Pack 2 in use - Internet security

With the startup and configuration out of the way, we moved on to Internet surfing and email.

The features added to Internet Explorer worked extremely well. An 'information bar' has been created, which appears in the empty space below the address bar whenever IE wants to bring something to your attention. The browser is now configured to block and alert you to a wide variety of potentially hazardous web site features including: pop-ups, ActiveX controls and operations and file downloads. Much of this protection was actually present in pre-service pack IE but the new version is much better at informing the user.

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Once you see the information bar message, you can click on it to override the blocking or allow all alert items from a specific website.

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In our experience, these new features did an excellent job. We tested them by exploring the 'ahem' darker side of the Internet searching for a site that would trigger a pop-up explosion. Such a site was located and caused nary a whimper on our newly protected machine.

The second pop-up related feature new to IE is some restrictions on the shape and content of these windows. We saw none of those dreaded advertisement windows with no visible means of closure and no title bar. This feature also prevents windows from spawning almost entirely off the screen.

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Contents of Article: Microsoft Windows XP
 Pg 1.  Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 / SP2 Overview
 Pg 2.  A New Firewall for WinXP
 Pg 3.  Upgraded Outlook Express Security
 Pg 4.  — Testing the Firewall Coverage
 Pg 5.  Controlling Add-ons in IE
 Pg 6.  Email Protection Increased
 Pg 7.  WindowsXP Service Pack 2 in use - The XP Firewall
 Pg 8.  Programs and the new Firewall
 Pg 9.  Windows Security System
 Pg 10.  Windows XP Service Pack 2 in use
 Pg 11.  Adjusting to Service Pack 2

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