5 Microsoft Edge settings to change for more secure browsing than Chrome offers

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5 Microsoft Edge settings to change for more secure browsing than Chrome offers

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Once upon a time, had you told me that one day I'd install and use a web browser made by Microsoft on Linux, I'd have thought you'd gone mad. I'm not saying Edge has become my default browser (that title still belongs to Opera) but after using Edge for a while on Linux, I can certainly see why it's quickly becoming such a popular option.
Also: 5 Microsoft Edge features that might make it my new favorite Linux browser
It's based on Chromium but offers quite a bit more features and options than Chrome. It's pretty fast, and  — more importantly — it can be made much more secure than Google's browser. 
However, by default, a number of those settings are either not enabled or set to their less secure options. Fortunately, those settings are easily changed.
If you open the Microsoft Edge Settings window, you won't find a Security section because these settings are included in the Privacy, Search, and Services section. But which settings do you change? There are five security settings I would recommend looking into. Here they are:
Although saving your payment methods in a web browser is convenient, it's not something I would ever recommend. To that end, I always disable the saving of payment methods. The problem is that disabling the saving of payment methods is sort of hidden within Edge. On top of that, depending on your operating system, the saving of payment information will vary. For instance, when I installed Edge on Linux, the option was enabled. (It's enabled on Windows 11 as well.) On MacOS however, not only was the option disabled, but there was an extra option for Automatically Save Payment Info (which was off by default). Whatever operating system you use, you should make sure that Saving Payment Methods and Save Payment Info are disabled.
Also: 5 reasons why Opera is my favorite browser (and you should check it out too)
Now, you might think this setting would be found in, well, Settings — but it's not. Instead, the disabling of payment methods is handled within Microsoft Wallet. To open Wallet, click the small wallet icon in the left sidebar. If you don't see that icon, open Settings and search for wallet. When you do that, the Wallet opens in the browser and you can immediately click Settings and then disable the Save and Fill Payment Info option. 
I would also suggest you disable one more option that is related to payment methods. Open Edge Settings (by clicking the gear icon in the sidebar) and type payment in the search bar. You should see, under Privacy, a listing for Allow Sites to check if you have payment methods saved. Click the on/off slider until it's in the off position.
Disabling the saving of payment information can help prevent your credit card information from getting into the wrong hands.

To enable this feature, open Security and go to Privacy, search, and services and locate Block potentially unwanted apps under Security. Click the on/off slider until it's in the on position.
Most browsers have a built-in password manager and I recommend not using them. Why? Because a dedicated password manager is exponentially more secure than a feature within a browser. Password managers are built for one purpose, to keep your passwords secure. 
With every web browser I use, I disable the saving of passwords (if possible). Fortunately, it is possible with Microsoft Edge and I would highly recommend you do this the first time you open the browser.
Also: I tried two passwordless password managers, and was seriously impressed by one
To disable the password saving, go back to Microsoft Wallet, click Settings, and look for the Passwords section. Click the on/off slider until it's in the off position and your browser will never ask if you want to save a password again. Once you've done that, download and install a reputable password manager.
Never allow a browser to save your passwords. Instead, use a dedicated password manager.
Another setting I would highly recommend you enable is the automatic deletion of cookies and other site data. If you allow cookies to remain saved, they can be used against you in numerous ways. Companies can not only collect data about you, but a bad actor could use those saved cookies for any number of nefarious purposes. And because we're really bad about remembering to delete cookies and site data, why not allow Edge to automatically delete them when you close the browser?
Also: Best secure browsers to protect your privacy online
To do that, go to Settings > Privacy > Choose what to clear every time you close the browser. In the resulting window, click the on/off slider for Cookies and other site data until it's in the on position. You can also add sites for this feature to ignore, if you know of a site that depends on those cookies to function properly.
This should be considered a must-do.
If you use Microsoft Edge for both business and personal purposes, I would highly recommend you create separate profiles for each and make sure to switch between them, as needed. When you do this, the information for each profile is protected from other profiles, so there's no cross-pollination of data. Do this and you can be certain the more sensitive information from work won't accidentally be "used" when going to social networks or other sites that could use information from your place of employment in a way management might frown upon. 
To create a new profile, go to Settings > Profiles and click the Add Profile button in the top right corner. Walk through the wizard to complete the process and remember to switch to the correct profile when you need.
Create as many profiles as needed to protect different types of use cases.
Unless you have a reason to allow Microsoft to save your browsing activity (which includes history, usage, favorites, web content, etc.), you should certainly disable this feature. This option is used to create a profile for you so that targeted ads can be displayed within the browser. Should the wrong person steal this information, they could use it against you. 
Also: How to stop Google from selling your browser history for ad targeting
To disable the feature, go to Settings > Privacy > Personalization & Advertising. Click the on/off slider until it's in the off position.
I never allow a browser to save my information for targeted ads.
Once you've taken care of these five settings, you'll find Microsoft Edge is a much more secure web browser. 

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