With IE8, privacy does not equal security

Internet Explorer Version 8, Microsoft's new browser now in beta 2 release, has a privacy feature that is likely to be popular. InPrivate Browsing lets users start a new browser session that does not record information on searches or on Web sites visited.

Users can initiate the private session by selecting Start InPrivate Browsing from the Safety button at the top right corner of the browser window or when opening a new tab. This prevents the browser from retaining users' browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and user names and passwords. It's a useful feature when using a public or shared computer or for covering your tracks. InPrivate Browsing can be blocked with parental controls.

But remember, this is not a security feature. It can help keep your browsing habits private, but you potentially remain exposed to all of the snooping, malicious code and other exploits associated with unsafe sites ' and recent studies indicate that a majority of legitimate sites contain code with unpatched vulnerabilities, too. Privacy is good but don't be lulled into thinking that InPrivate Browsing can keep you safe. All the rules about safe online behavior still apply.

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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