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Browse confidently with Microsoft Edge’s enhanced security

new improved security helps keeps you safe

Arthur Gaplanyan

July 6, 2023

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Safe Browsing

What web browser do you use? Do you have a personal preference for your workflow? Is one more convenient for you? Do you just use whatever came on your device?

Browsers have a long history of development but at the end of the day, there aren’t that many. With only a handful of browser engines out there, there is a lot of standardization and commonality between web browsers. Not that all browsers are the same, but they are kind of all the same. Which makes things a bit…boring.

So, it makes a lot of sense that you probably don’t spend any time thinking about differences in browsers.

One browser that keeps improving is Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft has always had its own browser and distributed it with its Windows OS. There was a time that it was really good as well, but honestly, it’s not the 90s any longer and there’s been better options every year since. People tended to use their browser just because it was the one they had.

Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer, their previous browser, with Microsoft Edge in 2015. It was a major stepping stone to revitalize their browser. Microsoft created its own browser and javascript engine to create Edge. Unfortunately, the results were not very good.  

This prompted a new version of Edge to be released in 2020 based on the Blink and V8 engines, commonly referred to as Chromium. These are the open-source engines used in the Chrome browser, among others out there such as Opera and Amazon Silk.

This is important because this is when Edge stopped sucking started being a viable product. Since then, they have made significant improvements and continue to do so.

Recently I became interested in where Microsoft was going with this when they integrated the AI tool ChatGPT into their Bing search engine. Now, search engines are not browsers, and have their own sordid history to cover, but they are interconnected so I started looking at Edge a bit more closely.

Edge has securities built in.

First off, they have what every decent modern browser has. They can save your credentials, generate passwords for you, and monitor your saved passwords against known breaches to alert you if you need to change them. Now…I would never suggest that somebody utilize the password feature in their browser, Edge or otherwise. It simply isn’t secure. If you are looking for these features (and more) then get yourself a password manager and save everything securely. But back to my point, Microsoft has improved Edge to be on par with every other modern browser out there.

Then they one up it all. They use Microsoft Defender Smart Screen in their browser. Defender Smart Screen helps keep you protected while you browse the internet. It checks websites you are visiting against those that are known or suspected to be unsafe, then warns you. This keeps you away from all sorts of phishing and malware attacks.

Defender Smart Screen is exclusive to Edge, sort of. It is only available in other browsers via a downloadable extension, which works well. But those extensions are not supported in mobile browsers, so on a mobile device you need to use Edge to get the Smart Screen protection.

Edge has additional security features built in, like Conditional Access, safeguards against accidental leaks of your corporate data, and securities for confidential information. These features are built in and no added extensions are required, unlike other browsers.

Edge is now updated with enhanced security.

The bigger news here is the arrival of what Microsoft terms Enhanced Security. It’s a dynamic security policy that automatically applies stricter security settings to websites it is unfamiliar with. As you browse and frequent sites, it intelligently adjusts the settings to be less conservative to match. That’s a really smart feature.

Of course, these settings are adjustable and exceptions can be made (both positive and negative in nature). Business Administrators can configure settings for global company rules.

Enhanced Security is slated to roll out this month and turned on to a “Balanced” mode automatically.

Why should you care about security features?

The basic reason is that using a less secure browser could leave you vulnerable to online threats. Staying up to date with the latest security measures in your software is a simple way to stay as safe as possible.

Nobody wants to deal with the mess of a cyber attack. Whether it’s actual financial loss, identity theft, or locking down your accounts, it’s just a frustrating headache that doesn’t seem to go away.

Keeping your browser secure is one easy thing to reduce your chances of getting hit with an attack.

You don’t need to be an expert in cybersecurity to stay safe, you just need to use the easy security tools that have been made available.

If you haven’t looked at Edge in a while (or ever), maybe it’s worth a look. You might like what you see. If you have any questions about browser security, other cybersecurity measures, or need help getting the most out of your M365 licenses then get in touch.