Windows Smart Screen is a reputation system for downloaded software. Smart Screen Application. Reputation was originally included in Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 but was moved into the core Windows 8 operating system to offer broader protection. When Windows Smart Screen is activated, an application downloaded from the Internet is compared to the Smart Screen database. If the application is found to have a bad reputation or doesn‘t yet have a reputation established, the user is notified about the status of the software. That way, the user can choose whether the software should be allowed to run. This process is called the Application Reputation check.

Built on the same concept, but separate from Windows Smart Screen, is the Internet Explorer Smart Screen Filter. Smart Screen Filter runs in the background to notify users of suspicious websites. Smart Screen Filter supports Group Policy which can be used to enable or disable the filter or to prevent users from disabling the filter or overriding its warnings. The Smart Screen Filter is enabled within the Internet Options of Internet Explorer, within the Security tab. In an enterprise scenario, there are privacy implications for using the Smart Screen Filter. Certain information is sent to the URL Reputation Web Service.

Table below describes this information.


Table: Information sent as part of the smart screen filter process

Data point Description

Anonymous statistics For example, how often a query is made and how often a warning is generated. Language and locale the browser‘s language and locale settings. Operating system version, the version of Windows being used. Software version, the version of the browser being used, along with the version of the Smart Screen Filter.