Microsoft Edge, the company’s cross-platform web browser has silently been updated with a simple but powerful security feature that will protect its 600 million users from attacks as they browse the web.
The Redmond company explained on its Microsoft Edge blog that it was testing a new Automatic HTTPS feature that will automatically upgrade all the insecure connections on developer previews of the browser. This means if you have Edge Dev or Edge Canary installed, you should see a new setting offering the ability to “Always Switch from HTTP to HTTPS”, the company says on its blog.
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Connections to websites that are made without HTTPS can be affected by what is called a Man-in-the-Middle attack (or MITM) which means an attacker inserts themselves between the user and the website and influences the content they see by redirecting requests, or injecting dangerous content on the page. Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox browser already support upgrading all connections to HTTPS.
Microsoft says that it will rely on a “known-capable domains” list, which contains all the sites the company believes is compatible with the new HTTPS-prioritising mode. However, users will also have the option to simply upgrade all HTTP connections to HTTPS – the company warns that users could experience occasional sites breaking after enabling this setting.
The feature should also come in extremely handy for users that regularly travel or use public WiFi networks, which are generally considered to be extremely insecure. Users running Edge 92 can visit the Privacy section under the browser’s settings section to enable the setting for Automatic HTTPS, which will ensure that users on these networks are protected from being monitored or attacked by unscrupulous elements.