With Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has adopted the ‘less is more’ model when it comes down to the security feature designed to alert users that the file they are downloading might be malicious.
IE9 is the exponent of a key change in tactics, which involves less empty warning "This type of file may harm your computer" associated with downloaded files, while protecting users more by increasing the relevance of alerts.
This is done through the SmartScreen Application Reputation feature. As of earlier this week, the Redmond company has enabled the SmartScreen application reputation service, and is now encouraging early adopters to start testing the new and improved download protection of IE9.
“With IE9 we looked at ways to improve our malware protection overall and the experience consumers have with downloads,” revealed Ryan Colvin
, Program Manager, SmartScreen.
“We had two primary goals in mind to help consumers make better trust decisions when downloading programs from the web:
•Show more useful warnings when a program is a higher risk
•Reduce the number of generic, unhelpful warnings consumers see when downloading programs"
“In analyzing software downloads actively in use on the internet today, we found that most have an established download footprint and no history of malware."
“This was the genesis of SmartScreen application reputation. By removing unnecessary warnings, the remaining warnings become relevant.”