The second major addition to IE
is the add-on manager, accessed by going to 'tools\manage add ons...' This allows
you to see what software packages have been added on to the basic functionality
of the browser and remove them if necessary.
We tested this feature by deliberately
picking up a couple of malicious programs from some of the shadier sites
on the Internet. We enabled popups and activeX controls on these sites and answered
'yes' to questions any sane Internet user wouldn't touch with a ten-foot
pole, and before we knew it, IE was behaving rather oddly and
redirecting us to sites we didn't really want.
A quick trip to
'tools\manage add-ons' allowed us to disable the most obvious effect of the
parasites we had picked up, the URL redirection.
Ad-Aware finished off the rest
of the infestation. We came away impressed with this new feature as a
quick and dirty way of restoring a hijacked browser. Note that it does not
remove spyware or hijackers from your system, it only disables them. Use
of Ad-aware or other spyware removers is still necessary. For more
information see our anti-spyware articles here and here.
Outlook Express had one obvious
new security feature added too. We'll cover that next.