Stress is a fact of life, and I even read somewhere that a certain amount of it can be good for you. Internet Explorer 9, however, has no desire to raise your blood pressure or give you an ulcer.

Instead, IE9 has a number of security and privacy features that take the worry out of browsing. Here's how IE9 helps you:

Shake a tail. That's right, some unscrupulous websites will be tailing you (they call it tracking, but we know what they want—your behavior across multiple sites). Use IE9's Tracking Protection, together with the Protection List Provider of your choice (here's how), and IE9 will block content that could be used to follow you around.

Tracking Protection

Tracking Protection

Fend off known troublemakers. Use the new Application Reputation feature of the IE9 SmartScreen Filter to protect against phishing attacks and malware intent on swiping your personal information. It checks a list of reported phishing sites and malicious software sites to warn you and block sites for your safety.

Stay away from places of ill repute. SmartScreen Filter's URL Reputation feature is more powerful and effective than ever before, now checking for bad content on otherwise good pages. Warnings show in the Download Manager and the Notification Area, clearly identifying whether some content (say, an advertisement) or the entire page is bad.

Uncommon download warning

Uncommon download warning

Download Manager

Download Manager

Leave no trace. When stealth is important—as when ordering a gift on a shared computer—InPrivate Browsing fills the bill. Turn it on (here's how) and IE9 won't keep its customary browsing history, won't save temporary Internet files or form data, and won't retain cookies, usernames, or passwords. Your secret is safe with IE.

Limit activity. Websites use ActiveX to do special things, but it can pose security risks. ActiveX Filtering lets you lock out all ActiveX routines, then specify which sites you'll "invite" to enrich your experience. See how to turn it on.


Active X Filtering

Active X Filtering

Keep keystrokes and passwords private. The always-on Cross-site scripting filter in IE9 detects compromised websites and disables harmful scripts designed to capture and record passwords, credit card numbers, and other things you enter via keyboard.

Know where you are. Sometimes deceptive practices lead us to bad places instead of our intended web destinations. By highlighting the domain name in the address bar, IE9 helps you to quickly realize you've been misrouted so you won't give any private info away.

Domain Highlighting

Domain Highlighting

There. I can feel the stress melting away. This is almost as good as the yoga retreat.

Not really,
Keith