There are two versions of Internet Explorer (IE) 10. The first version runs on Windows 8 (it comes pre-installed) or a Windows RT PC. The second version runs on Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit-512 MB) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (64 bit-512 MB). IE 10 is NOT available for Windows Vista or earlier versions.
There are actually three different versions, so let us clear up the confusion surrounding versions:
- Metro – which runs from the Windows 8 Start Screen – this is pre-installed
- Desktop – which runs on the Windows 8 Desktop and on Windows 7 – the Windows 8 version is pre-installed however you will have to download and install it if you use Windows 7 (see below)
- Windows RT – these versions have specific functionalities
Download Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/internet-explorer/download-ie
If you are currently using IE 7,8 or 9 and you are using Windows 7 or 8, I strongly suggest you update to IE 10 for the security improvements. IE 10 for Windows 8/RT now has Flash content available by default (we know the security issues here), so you will not have issues visiting flash enabled sites (which is only a small percentage right now). The browser had previously blocked Flash content due to it being incompatible with the Windows Experience and in particular Windows 8 tablets. Now let us glance at the security improvement:
- Do Not Track (DNT) – This tells websites you visit not to record your browsing activities and is now enabled by default. Click > Tools > Tracking Protection > Click on Tracking Protection to check this is enabled. You can also click > Settings – you have the option to automatically block or choose content to block or allow. (see bootnote).
- SmartScreen Filter – this uses a URL reputation engine and a file/application system. The URL reputation engine protects users from phishing and socially engineered attacks. By default SmartScreen will always send information about every application you download and install to Microsoft Servers. For more information on how to use this feature, I suggest you read my post.
- Enhanced Protected Mode – this restricts Internet Explorer from locations that contain your personal information until you grant permission to it. This helps prevent exploit code from accessing your personal information without your permission. Note: Protected Mode was actually added in IE7 for Windows Vista. This is an added layer of protection and shouldn’t distract you from also installing Internet Security software.
Safe surfing folks!
Bootnote: As I’ve said on several occasions, websites can ignore DNT and track you anyway, but the reputable websites (i.e. Facebook, BBC, Twitter etc) appear to be embracing this feature at the time of writing.