IE, as well as windows 7 when I first installed it, was a clean install on a freshly wiped harddrive.
As I mentioned before, I don't use IE at all, but a strange thing has occurred. Because of that, I removed the internet explorer icon on my desktop. I hope that was a shortcut, or was it not? Because if it was not a shortcut, it may explain a new strange issue: My internet explorer program folder is missing the iexplorer.exe file! I was hoping to open IE and access internet options there, and now I can't even do that.
So, I go and download IE9 from the web, and I am unable to open the installer. It leads to the security warning that prompted my inquiry into this issue in the first place:
Now, I have to wonder, is there any possibility I was infected with malware that caused the security level in my control panel to change, and lock out any modification to correct it?