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With online threats getting more advanced day by day, it is important to prioritize the safety of your web browsing. Microsoft Edge offers several features and practices that can enhance your online security and protect your personal information. Follow these guidelines to browse the web securely in Microsoft Edge.

As you browse the web, you'll see an icon in the address bar that indicates the security of the connection to the site you're visiting. This icon helps you determine if you can safely send and receive information from the site. The connection tells you whether the information sent to and from the site, such as passwords, addresses, or credit card numbers, are securely sent and can't be intercepted by an attacker.

The connection icon in the address bar has four different states. The following information explains what each state means and provides tips for how to make smart decisions for your browsing: 

Connection secure (valid certificate)

Indicator for valid websites

  • The website you’re visiting has a valid certificate issued by a trusted authority. The information sent to and from the site is secure and can't be intercepted by an attacker. However, even websites with valid certificates may have a poor reputation, so always check the URL in the address bar to be sure you’re on the intended site before you enter any information.

Not fully secure (no valid certificate) 

Indicator for websites that are not secure

  • This website doesn't have a valid certificate. The information sent to and from it is not secure and can be intercepted by an attacker or seen by others. There's a risk to your personal data when sending or receiving information from this site.

  • If possible, contact the website owner to request that their site protect its data with a secure connection.

Outdated security configuration (not valid, expired, self-signed)

Icon for a website with an invalid certificate

  • This website's certificate is invalid, or something is severely wrong with the security of the site. The information sent to and from it is not secure and can be intercepted by an attacker or seen by others.

  • Microsoft Edge suggests you don’t enter personal information into this site or avoid using it altogether.

Suspicious or dangerous website (phishing or malware)

Icon for a suspicious or dangerous website

  • This website has been flagged by Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. Microsoft Edge suggests you avoid it. Using this site will put your privacy and security at risk.

  • The website was flagged because it may be trying to trick you into installing something dangerous or revealing your personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers.

  • Learn more about Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen helps protect you from phishing sites and malicious downloads. This feature alerts users to potential threats, offering early warnings against websites involved in phishing attacks or attempts to distribute malware through a focused attack. To enable this:

  1. In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

  2. Select Privacy, search, and services.

  3. Find the Security section and turn on the toggle next to Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.

For more information, see Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.

Enhanced Tracking Prevention in Microsoft Edge helps block trackers from collecting your browsing data. You can adjust the level of tracking prevention by:

  1. In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

  2. Select Privacy, search, and services > Tracking prevention. You can choose from three levels of tracking prevention: Basic, Balanced, and Strict.

Request websites to not track your browsing behavior:

  1. In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

  2. Select Privacy, search, and services, and then find the Privacy section.

  3. Turn on the toggle next to Send "Do Not Track" requests.

Learn more about Tracking Prevention.

Enable secure DNS to help protect against phishing and malware by encrypting DNS queries.

  1. In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

  2. Select Privacy, search, and services. 

  3. Find the Security section and turn on the toggle next to Use secure DNS to specify how to lookup the network address for websites.

Use Microsoft Edge's built-in password manager to securely store and manage your passwords.

  1. In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

  2. Select Profiles > Passwords to manage your saved passwords.

  3. Enable synchronization across devices for seamless access to your passwords.

For more information, see how to use password monitor to help protect passwords in Microsoft Edge.

Downloading files from the internet can expose your computer to malware and other security threats.

Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Download from trusted sources: Only download files from reputable websites and sources.

  • Use Microsoft Defender SmartScreen: In Settings > Security, turn on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen to help identify and block malicious downloads.

  • Verify file integrity: Before opening downloaded files, verify their integrity using antivirus software or online services.

InPrivate browsing mode allows you to browse the web without storing browsing history, cookies, and other data. Use this mode when you want to keep your browsing activities private.

  1. In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

  2. Select New InPrivate window to start browsing privately.

  3. Use InPrivate search: Search using the InPrivate search engine to prevent search queries from being saved.

For more information, see how to browse in InPrivate mode.

Microsoft Edge supports various extensions that can enhance security and privacy while browsing. Install reputable extensions from the Microsoft Edge Add-ons store:

  • Ad Blockers: Install ad blocker extensions to block intrusive ads and protect against malicious advertisements.

  • Privacy Extensions: Install privacy-focused extensions that offer features like tracker blocking, script blocking, and cookie management.

For more information, see how to add, turn off or remove extensions in Microsoft Edge.

Ensure that you are using the latest version of Microsoft Edge to take advantage of the latest security patches and enhancements. You can enable automatic updates to receive the latest security fixes automatically.

In Edge, go to  Settings and more at the top of your browser.

Select About Microsoft Edge and ensure the option for automatic updates is enabled.

Related links

Enhance your security on the web with Microsoft Edge

Use the Microsoft Edge Secure Network to protect your browsing

Learn about security features in Microsoft Edge

Block pop-ups in Microsoft Edge

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