Internet Explorer Enhanced Protected Mode

Let’s be honest, Internet Explorer (IE) has had a bad reputation for a long time.  IE6 was probably the worst browser ever, and it hung around like a bad smell for year after year (much like Windows XP!).  But credit where credit’s due – Microsoft has raised their game immensely with Internet Explorer lately to the point where Internet Explorer is, in my opinion, now one of the best browsers available – the trouble is that its delinquent youth still haunts it meaning people are often all too quick to jump on the “Internet Explorer is rubbish” bandwagon!

But…….. with IE10 a new security feature was introduced, Enhanced Protected Mode.  Greatly simplified, this feature locks down even further the access that the browser has to your information, regardless of the security context it is running in.  Although a good thing, I’ve seen this feature trip some people up as it can pretty much cripple your browsing experience if you don’t know what is going on and make provisions for it.

When enabled the browser will have severely reduced permissions on your desktop, including any add-ons that it loads.  Indeed, if your add-ons are not specifically designed to work with Enhanced Protected Mode they will simply be disabled by IE, resulting in a “black X” placeholder being displayed instead of the expected content on the page.  So, when planning your browser upgrade/rollout, make sure you test all your browser plug-ins, and try to ensure that they are compatible with this feature – otherwise, disable it (for now).

Enhanced Protected Mode in Internet-Explorer

Your ultimate goal should be to resolve any compatibility issues with the view to re-enabling the feature, as it is beneficial to overall browser security.  Resolving these issues though may require upgrading these incompatible browser plug-ins, and this in itself could be a major task or even impossible if the plug-in vendor is unwilling to help.

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