Browsing the internet can be risky, and your browser is the first defense you have against anything nasty lurking on websites and apps. Now, Microsoft Edge is heightening the bar by adding a new, toggleable “enhanced security mode” that will keep you even safer when exploring the internet.
A New Range of Security Options for Microsoft Edge
As spotted on 9to5Mac, Microsoft Edge 104 includes some new security options. They’re disabled by default, but you can turn them on by typing “edge://settings/privacy” into Microsoft Edge’s search bar.
Once you arrive, you should see a switch next to a category titled “enhance your security on the web.” Toggle this switch on, and you’ll be greeted with three different options: Basic, Balanced, and Strict.
Basic is the recommended setting, and it’ll “add security mitigations” for lesser-visited websites. Balanced does the same, except it affects websites that you personally don’t visit a lot, not just sparsely-visited websites as a whole.
It’s when you set the option to Strict that things get a little dicey. When activated, Microsoft Edge will begin applying heightened security to every website you visit. Even Microsoft believes this might not be a great idea, as it notes in the option’s description that “parts of sites might not work.”
Still, if you want to use the new Strict mode, there is a whitelist feature where you can add websites you know are safe. And you can also set Edge to automatically engage Strict mode when you use its private browsing feature.
A Promising Venture for Microsoft Edge
Microsoft has a big challenge ahead of it if it wants Edge to become the most popular browser worldwide. Google Chrome currently takes the lion’s share of users, so Microsoft needs to introduce features into Edge to help convince people to stick with it instead of swapping browsers.
This new security mode seems like a winner for setting up a PC for those who aren’t so technically able. If you’re guiding someone through their PC and you’re worried they may end up on the wrong side of the internet, you can set Edge to Balanced or Strict and let the browser do the defending for you. And this setting might be a winner for people setting up public PCs who don’t want people catching viruses on them.
As such, while this new security mode may not mean much to power users, it seems promising for keeping a PC safe when in the hands of someone less able. And for that, we may see more people decide to stick with Edge due to the “set and forget” nature of these security options.
Taking the Edge Off of Edge
With Microsoft Edge’s new security options, setting up a secure PC right out of the box has never been easier. We’ll have to see if this is enough to convince people that Edge is worth sticking with.