Microsoft is kicking up the security features in its new Chromium-based Edge browser with a feature previously exclusive to enterprise customers.
As spotted by The Verge, some beta builds of the new Edge contain an optional feature that “[b]locks downloads of low-reputation apps that might cause unexpected behaviours.”
In other words, the feature blocks downloads of potentially unwanted apps through Edge. For example, it could block ‘crapware’ or ‘adware,’ things that aren’t necessarily malware but could cause issues for users. The Verge points to apps bundled with toolbars or stuffed with annoying ads and notifications, or with built-in crypto miners.
Edge already includes ‘SmartScreen Filter,’ which protects users against phishing and malware. As such, this new security option is additional and works along with SmartScreen.
However, it won’t be on by default. Those interested in using it will have to head to Edge’s Settings menu > Privacy and services > scroll down to the ‘Services’ section. If you’re running a beta version of Edge with the setting, you’ll find it there.
It’s worth noting that both Google and Mozilla offer similar protections in their respective browsers, but those only extend to malware and phishing. Eric Lawrence, a principal program manager at Microsoft, shared on his Twitter account (@ericlaw) that base SmartScreen and Chrome’s SafeBrowsing don’t go as far as this new feature, which also blocks potentially unwanted code.
Previously, Microsoft only offered this feature to enterprise customers through its Defender Advanced Threat Protection service. Now, however, it’ll be available to everyone, businesses and otherwise, through Edge.
Since the feature is currently is only in beta versions of Edge, it will likely arrive in the stable channel for everyone shortly.
Source: The Verge