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Microsoft Edge Gets a “Super Duper Secure” Mode, Here's How to Enable It

Microsoft

It’s finally here! Microsoft slipped its new “Super Duper Secure” mode in the Edge browser’s latest release, offering users a quick and easy way to defend themselves from the web’s most common exploits and vulnerabilities. But how does “Super Duper Secure” mode work, and how do you enable it?

We first heard of Super Duper Secure mode in August, when Microsoft began experimenting with the feature in Beta channels. It’s a very interesting feature that goes against common practice—basically, it disables the V8 JavaScript engine’s speed-enhancing JIT compiler in your Edge browser.

I know all that “JIT compiler” stuff sounds like mumbo jumbo, so here’s a very basic explanation. The JIT compiler is a 12-year-old tool that increases JavaScript performance (to reduce webpage load times) at the cost of security. Nearly 45% of V8 JavaScript vulnerabilities are related to JIT, and many of the browser updates you’re forced to install are just patches for these vulnerabilities.

Disabling JIT greatly improves browser security, according to the Edge team. And in most cases, the Edge Super Duper Secure mode creates no noticeable difference in your browsing experience. But the feature is still a bit experimental—it may break some JavaScript-heavy webpages, and as Microsoft admits, it can increase webpage load times by as much as 17%. (To be fair, you should only notice this speed drop on sites that use a lot of JavaScript, such as YouTube.)

The Super Duper Secure settings in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft

To enable Super Duper Secure mode, make sure you’re running the latest version of Microsoft Edge (v. 96.0.1054.29 or later), press the three dots on the top right of your toolbar, and click Settings. Then open the “Privacy, Search, and Services” tab and scroll down to the big bold “Security” header. You should see the option to toggle “Security Mitigations for a More Secure Browser Experience.” This is Super Duper Secure mode—turn it on to use it.

I suggest sticking with the Balanced mode, which tells Edge to trust your most visited sites (ensuring that they load quickly). The Strict mode is a lot more heavy-handed, and even Microsoft warns that it will break parts of some websites.

If you like to get your hands dirty, you can also add some exceptions to the Super Duper Secure tool. This may come in handy if Super Duper Secure mode slows or breaks the most important sites you visit, like websites for your job or your school.

Just to reiterate, Super Duper Secure is still a bit experimental. But it’s probably a sign of what’s to come. The aging V8 JavaScript JIT compiler is a security nightmare, and we expect browsers to disable it by default in the coming years.

Source: Johnathan Norman via TechRadar

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