2 Essential Microsoft Edge Features to Protect Your Privacy | #itsecurity | #infosec


Browsers such as Microsoft Edge rely on cookies and trackers that collect your personal data to improve your overall browsing experience. For instance, cookies can help to improve page load speed, remember preferences, and serve you targeted ads.

While this is often convenient, it also raises certain privacy concerns, like how much data do browsers have on you, and how’re they using such data. Thankfully, Edge has built-in features that provide enhanced privacy protection when browsing the internet.

In this article, we’ll take a look at two such important features that offer improved privacy in Edge.

1. InPrivate Browsing Mode

The Microsoft Edge InPrivate browsing mode allows you to browse in private. It does this by opening a new, dedicated window that is optimized for privacy.

This stripped-down and clutter-free version of Edge can help you to improve focus and overall productivity. But, more importantly, it can block cookies, stop websites tracking you, and doesn’t save your history. Essentially, the feature is Edge’s version of Incognito Mode.

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What Happens When You Use InPrivate Browsing Mode?

When in InPrivate browsing mode, sites, cookies, and trackers are prevented from accessing your browsing activity. This allows you to enjoy more privacy while you browse.

Thanks to InPrivate search with Microsoft Bing, your Bing searches will neither be associated with your account nor influence the search results you get when you search with Bing on the normal Edge browser. This allows you to search anonymously.

In addition, your browsing history, download history, cookies, site data, and cached images, among others, will be erased when you close all InPrivate windows. This prevents other people using the same computer from snooping in on your browsing activity.

Note, however, that this doesn’t include your internet service provider or your employer from seeing this activity, as they can still access your InPrivate browsing activity.

What InPrivate Browsing Mode Doesn’t Do for You

​​​​​​There are a few other things that InPrivate Browsing mode in Edge won’t do for you.

InPrivate Browsing mode is not supported on Edge for Android or iOS, and it won’t offer you additional protection other than what’s already obtainable with normal browsing on Edge.

Related: What Is InPrivate Browsing in Microsoft Edge?

In addition, InPrivate Browsing mode doesn’t offer you protection from tracking by default. This means that it works with your current tracking settings.

For instance, if you turn off Strict tracking prevention, InPrivate mode will work with the same tracking prevention settings as a normal browsing window.

2. Tracking Prevention

Targeted ads have this especially annoying habit of following you around the web as if you’re being stalked. This is only one example of how trackers can make your browsing experience a nightmare.

Fortunately, you can put a pause or stop to this by enabling tracking prevention in Edge. Simply put, Tracking Prevention helps you to prevent sites from tracking your online activities when using Edge.

What Happens When You Turn On Tracking Prevention?

Basic Tracking Prevention mode is, as the name suggests, the most basic form of tracking prevention on Edge. It allows trackers (minus known harmful trackers) to track your browsing activity across all sites.

Site contents will display correctly and ads will be highly personalized across the websites that you visit. Recommendation engines will suggest content similar to the ones you’ve interacted with in the past.

Balanced Tracking Prevention mode is the default for all Edge users, as is Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox. This blocks trackers from sites you haven’t visited, as well as all known harmful trackers. It also displays web content normally but with less personalization than the Basic Tracking Prevention mode.

If you select Strict Tracking Prevention mode, on the other hand, it’ll block the majority of trackers across all sites, further reduce content and ads personalization, prevent certain page contents from displaying correctly as well as block all known harmful trackers.

Related: A Guide to The Security Settings in Microsoft Edge

When using InPrivate Browsing mode, it is highly recommended that you also enable Strict Tracking Prevention to enjoy maximum privacy on Edge.

Enjoy More Privacy With Microsoft Edge

InPrivate Browsing and Tracking Prevention can help to improve your privacy on Microsoft Edge. However, certain site functionalities may be impacted. For instance, sites won’t remember your preferences or help you to autofill forms, among others.

If you can live with these features, then you should consider using InPrivate Browsing with Strict Tracking Prevention to enjoy more privacy on Edge.

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