How to tighten security in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge logo on computer screen.

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Those who use Microsoft Edge want to make sure your security is as tight as possible. Edge offers a variety of settings to help you reach this goal.

SmartScreen will protect you from malicious websites and files. The Unwanted Apps option blocks downloads of suspicious or low-reputation apps.

The typo checker warns you if you mistype the URL, which could lead you to a malicious site. The Enhanced Security option lets you choose a specific security mode to defend your browser from malware.

To access the security options, click the ellipsis icon at the top right, select Settings, and then click Set up privacy, search, and services. Scroll down until you see the Security section.

also: Microsoft Edge adds a new security layer for browsing ‘unfamiliar’ sites

Edge security settings.

Shot by Lance Whitney

Options for tighter security in Microsoft Edge

.’s first choice Microsoft Defender SmartScreen It tries to protect you from malicious websites and downloads. Overall, this is a useful feature because it will automatically stop the loading of sites and files that are considered malicious or suspicious. SmartScreen sometimes gets in your way with a lot of false positives, and it’s an annoyance when you’re trying to download a file that you know is legitimate. But I advise you to turn on the switch for this. If you hit a lot of false positives, you can always turn them off, at least temporarily.

next choice for Block potentially unwanted apps Automatically stop downloads of unwanted applications (PUAs) that may slow down your system, display unwanted ads, or try to install additional software. The apps blocked by this option are usually not malicious but annoying and annoying. Like SmartScreen, this sometimes leads to a false positive. But it’s best to keep it enabled and then disable it if you need to bypass any false positives.

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The third option for typing checker Warns you if you misspelled the URL and are redirected to a potentially malicious website. In a practice known as typographical hijacking, cybercriminals set up malicious websites that mimic the URLs of legitimate websites with certain characters added, deleted, or changed. Enable this option, and the type checker will alert you when you try to access one of these sites.

Fourth option for Turn on Site Security Services to get more information about the sites you visit Provides details about your current location if you click on the lock icon in the address bar. Revealing information such as connection security, the number of cookies used, and the number of trackers blocked, this option is useful for both legitimate and suspicious sites, so you’ll want to enable this.

next choice for Use secure DNS to determine how to look up the network address of websites It is another one you should turn on. Clever cybercriminals can do a trick called DNS hijacking where they use DNS queries to redirect your website requests to malicious sites. To guard against this type of exploitation, many DNS providers use a feature called Secure DNS. By default, Edge uses the DNS of your current organization or service provider, which may or may not use secure DNS. To protect yourself, turn on this option and click the setting for Choose a service provider. You can then choose a different DNS provider from the list, such as Google, NextDNS, or OpenDNS, all of which use secure DNS.

Security options in Edge security settings.

Configure Edge security options.

Shot by Lance Whitney

Then, Edge offers an enhanced security mode to further protect you from malware and other threats. Turn on the switch for Enhance your security on the webYou can choose from three different levels – Basic, Balanced, or Strict.

Basic turns on security protection for less visited sites and will work with all websites. Balanced enables security protection for sites that are not frequently visited and should work with most websites. Strict turns on security protection for all websites but may cause conflicts with certain websites or parts of the websites.

You may want to start with Balanced and see if the sites you visit are still fully functional. If you encounter any obstacles, there are two actions you can take. Go to the basic level or add the website that is not working properly as an exception by selecting the setting for exceptions and adding its URL.

also: These are the biggest cybersecurity threats: Make sure you don’t ignore them

Enhanced security mode for Edge with the highlighted square for

Use the enhanced security mode in Edge.

Shot by Lance Whitney

As a last option under Security, turn on the switch for Always use “hard” tracking prevention when browsing InPrivate If you want the strict level to take over when you open a website in an InPrivate window.

In addition to modifying these security settings, there are two actions you can take when browsing the web. Click on the trim icon at the top and select New InPrivate window. This allows you to open a site in InPrivate mode, which deletes your browsing information and history after you close the window, discards your download history, and stops Microsoft Bing searches from linking to you.

Drop-down menu for how to open a new window in an InPrivate window

Open a website in an InPrivate window.

Shot by Lance Whitney

Finally, click on the trim icon and select New application protection window. Application Guard uses a device isolation tactic to launch websites inside a container. This process protects your operating system and computer from any malware that might appear in Edge. Unless you’re using Edge in a corporate or business environment, this isn’t an option you’re likely to use often. But if you are worried about visiting a suspicious website, you may want to open it in this mode.

Drop-down list of how to open a website in the Application Guard window.

Open a website in the Application Guard window.

Shot by Lance Whitney

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