8 Steps to Optimize Microsoft Internet Explorer for Google Apps Security

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8 Steps to optimize Microsoft Internet Explorer for the increased security of your Google Apps account

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8 Steps to Optimize Microsoft Internet Explorer for Google Apps Security

  1. 1. EIGHT STEPS TO OPTIMIZEMICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORERFOR GOOGLE APPS SECURITYBACKUPIFY – APRIL 2012
  2. 2. EIGHT STEPS TO OPTIMIZE MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER FOR GOOGLE APPS SECURITYBackupify, Inc. 2INTRODUCTIONInternet Explorer is the obligatory browser in many office environments, but thatdoesnt mean youre obliged to accept IEs default security settings — especiallywhen using a non-Microsoft Software-as-a-Service solution like Google Apps.Below are eight steps you can take to ensure Internet Explorer doesnt interferewith your secure use of the Google Apps productivity suite.1. Update to the Latest VersionYou could be running an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer and not evenknow it. (Its unlikely, given Microsofts rather incessant upgrade prompts, but yourcorporate IT department could have disabled those features.) Step one in any IEsecurity assessment is to ensure youre running the latest version of the browserwith all the most up-to-date defensive features.2. Run the IE Performance Fixit ToolMicrosoft products are known for the endless layers of customizable settings andfeatures — which can often lead to an over-tweaked instance of Internet Explorerthat is vulnerable, unresponsive or both. Microsofts standard answer to over-optimized products is a Fixit program. The IE Performance Fixit Tool isntexclusively a security tool — it repairs caching issues and uninstalls broken add-ons — but its main purpose is to reset the browser to Microsofts recommendedsecurity settings, including turning the pop-up blocker and anti-phishing contentfilter back on. If you want to secure IE, the Fixit program helps you set a goodbaseline for optimization.3. Enable Tracking Protection and ActiveX FilteringActiveX allows certain kinds of browser scripts to run properly in IE but, just aswith JavaScript, you need to be careful about which sites are given ActiveXprivileges. Youll want to enable ActiveX filtering, but list your Google Apps URLsas exceptions, as they may occasionally require ActiveX to run certain features. Inthe Safety menu set, you should enable Tracking Protection, which alerts you if any
  3. 3. EIGHT STEPS TO OPTIMIZE MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER FOR GOOGLE APPS SECURITYBackupify, Inc. 3website you visit is displaying content from another site — the content equivalentof a bait-and-switch that may be used to disguise a malware attack.4. Block All CookiesCookies help websites remember who you are, both for tracking purposes and toexpedite logins — including for services like Google Apps. Should your laptop fallinto the wrong hands, you dont want saved cookies to give the attacker easyaccess to your Google Apps account, too. Blocking all cookies in IE means youllhave to log into Google Apps every time you navigate to your account, but thatminor inconvenience is a small price to pay for the added security.5. Block Saved Usernames, Passwords and FormsAutocomplete form data is another risky convenience in Internet Explorer, as thebrowser can save not just the usernames and passwords you use to access GoogleApps (or any online account), but form data like your mailing address, phonenumber or even credit card information. The browser is very insecure place tokeep this information, and not just because you dont want IE divulging that dataany time you happen upon a new online form. The browser itself is often ahacking target precisely because this data is often stored there. Disabling theseautocomplete features protects your privacy, your Google Apps account and, foronline bankers, perhaps even your life savings.6. Add Google Apps URLs to the Trusted Sites Security ZoneInternet Explorer splits websites into four different Security Zones: Intranet (yourlocal network), Trusted Sites (websites you designate as “safe”), Restricted Sites(websites you designates as “dangerous”) and the Internet (everything notexplicitly labeled). You should add all your Google Apps URLs to the Trusted SitesZone to ensure IE doesnt overreact to any content or features your GoogleAccount offers up. This also frees you, should you so choose, to ramp up anyadditional security settings on the other three Zones, as Google Apps wont sufferany slowdowns from the increased defenses.
  4. 4. EIGHT STEPS TO OPTIMIZE MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER FOR GOOGLE APPS SECURITYBackupify, Inc. 47. Block Location Services and Pop-UpsCertain websites request your location — deduced from your IP address — tocustomize content for your local area. Thats great if youre looking to gain anextra three seconds when searching for a restaurant but lousy if you want to keepyour location data private. Remember, personal information is the foundation ofall social engineering attacks, so divulging as little as possible is good policy.Modify your Privacy settings to keep you location data private, and while yourethere, make sure the Pop-Up Blocker is enabled. Pop-Ups arent just annoying;they can open silently (behind the current browser window) and wreak all mannerof havoc before you notice them.8. Install Chrome Frame for IEMore an optimization than a security setting, the Chrome Frame IE Add-Onenables a number of Google Apps features that are supported only in the Chromebrowser. Drag-and-drop image and file support for Gmail and Google Docs comesback into play, but so does the enhanced JavaScript engine designed explicitly tokeep Google Apps speedy and safe. If you cant run Chrome itself, Chrome Framefor IE is the next best thing.ABOUT BACKUPIFYBackupify is the leading provider of backup and restore solutions for SaaSapplications including Google Apps, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, and more.Backupify was founded in 2008 and is based in Cambridge, MA. Backupify has over200,000 users trusting us with more than 500 million documents, two billion emailmessages and 350 terabytes of data.WHY BACKUP CLOUD DATA?Your data is one of the most critical assets of your business. Like any importantasset, it should be insured. While most SaaS providers, including Google andSalesforce, offer state-of-the-art disaster recovery capabilities that protect youfrom some forms of data loss, you are still at risk for data loss due to user error,hacked accounts and third-party application bugs. To fully replicate your on-
  5. 5. EIGHT STEPS TO OPTIMIZE MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER FOR GOOGLE APPS SECURITYBackupify, Inc. 5premise backup capabilities in the cloud, you need the ability to perform granularrestores, and to retain the control that comes from having your own securesecond copy of the data in your SaaS applications.FIND OUT MOREIf youre interested in the peace of mind you get from an automated Google Appsbackup solution, feel free to contact us directly at info@backupify.com. Web http://www.backupify.com Phone 1.800.571.4984 Twitter http://twitter.com/backupifyBackupify logo is a registered trademark or registered trademarks of Backupify, Inc. All other namesmay be the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.© 2012 Backupify, Inc. Item: GAT-WP-EN-200110608

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