Secure IE 2004 Can Make Safe Browsing Easier
Opinion: IE replacement doesn't do much for expert users, but could save some novices from their own misbehavior. Or should those users just get Mozilla and be done with it?A couple versions ago I looked at Secure IE from Winferno Software and was unkind to it. As I said at the time, it largely just automated settings in Internet Explorer you could make on your own and for free. I met some resistance at the time from colleagues who felt that the product could still be a convenience for users who would be intimidated by the IE settings. With that in mind and with the passage of time and feature advances in Secure IE I thought it was time to look again. After all, as you may have heard, there have been a couple of alleged security problems in Internet Explorer recently. I tested the Preview Edition of Secure IE 2004. Its certainly more polished and has more features than the one I dismissed some time ago. I can see that perhaps unsophisticated users are better off with Secure IE and its much more rigorous defaults, but thats not the complete picture. Windows XP Service Pack 2 is just around the corner and will make considerable improvements in the security of Internet Explorer, but it doesnt do users of Windows 2000 or Windows 9x any good. Those users might need the extra protection of Secure IE. Incidentally, Winferno says Secure IE works well in an SP2 environment.
The bottom line about Secure IE is the same as with the previous version. Most of what it does could be done for free in standard Internet Explorer just by clicking the right buttons in Tools-Internet Options on the Security tab. It irks me that someone should sell this as a separate product, but I need to be more open-minded about it. I know perfectly well that end users dont understand this stuff and need their hands held. If Secure IE does the job for just $29.99, perhaps its money well-spent.