Internet Explorer - Turning off some services can improve performance and security
Recently DV Labs sponsored a security contest between laptops using Mac, Vista, and Linux operating systems. Vista did well in these tests, until a new unknown vulnerability in Adobe Flash was discovered. This vulnerability was disclosed only to Adobe and it is not a current threat. It will most likely be fixed quickly .
While this threat is not in the wild, I wanted to better learn how to toggle Flash off and on. In using other complementary browsers, I've gotten along well without Flash or other plug-ins installed. Using Internet Explorer (IE8 beta), I decided to turn Flash off, as this was invoked mainly for advertising purposes in about 90% of websites visited. It worked well in blocking Flash animation.
The only issue is a warning message which asks: "the website is requesting a service, would you like to install?". If you ignore the message and continue, it disappears quickly. I'd rather have the message than the Flash presentation sometimes. Still, when you need Flash restored, it can be toggled back on as noted in the steps below.
Later, Adobe PDF and Windows Media player were added to the list of disabled services in IE, as I rarely start these in browser mode. IE performance improved substantially, as all 3 services are complex. Our family PC is also an older model and these types of service reducing tweaks throughout IE and Windows have helped with throughput. I'm staying with these settings and will toggle them back on, if there's a good requirement to do so.
IE Settings - Disable/enable add-in services (e.g., Flash)
Tools >>> Internet Options >>> Program Tab >>> Manage add-on options button >>> Filters >>> Add-ons that run without requiring permission >>> Select Shockwave Object >>> Click Disable button at bottom
To re-enable Flash, all you need to do is follow the steps in green above and select Enable button in last step. If desired, you can also disable Adobe PDF Reader and Windows Media Player from starting within IE. They will still work properly in starting outside of IE if desired. As the settings work like the Flash process noted in green above, these services can also be toggled back on if needed.
CAUTIONARY NOTES IN SETTINGS ABOVE:
1. Avoid making these changes unless you are familiar with IE settings and understand the technical steps noted in green.
2. Avoid setting off other services as it could affect or break browser functions.
3. Flash might be used often in an email website or forum you might be posting frequently to, and the warning message could appear often.
4. The technical settings were specifically for IE 8 and they should work for IE 7. I'm not certain if IE 6 supports service disabling in the same manner as described above. If the technical settings don't match up well, users should avoid making these changes.