How to use Edge tools to protect your privacy

One of the things that many people look for in a browser is how it protects their privacy against all the various trackers that are hidden in many of the sites out there. Microsoft Edge, the Chromium-based browser that is built into current versions of Windows, has its share of protections as well — it’s even adding its own VPN to the mix. Edge includes tools to block both first-party cookies (used to keep you logged in or remember the items in your shopping cart) and third-party tracking cookies (used to keep track of your browsing activity).

Here are instructions on how to change your settings, see what trackers are stored on your browser, and delete any cookies. We also address how Edge deals with fingerprinting, another method of tracking that identifies users by collecting details about their system configuration.

Edge blocks trackers by default using one of three different levels of protection. Balanced, which is active upon installation, blocks some third-party trackers along with any trackers designated as “malicious.” This mode takes into account sites you visit frequently and the fact that an organization may own several sites; it lowers tracking prevention for organizations you engage with regularly. Basic offers more relaxed control; it still blocks trackers but only those Microsoft describes as “malicious.” You can also switch to Strict, which blocks most third-party trackers across sites

While Edge provides you with the three easy-to-choose tracking modes, you can also dive deeper to see which trackers are blocked and make exceptions for specific sites. On the Privacy, search and services page, look for the Blocked trackers link just beneath the three tracking prevention modes. Click on that to see all of the trackers Edge has blocked Beneath the Blocked trackers link is the Exceptions link, where you can specify any sites where you want tracking prevention turned off.

When you’re at a site, you can see how effective your tracking prevention is by clicking on the lock symbol on the left side of the top address field. The drop-down box allows you to view the associated cookies and site permissions, allow or disable pop-ups, tweak the tracking permissions for that site, and see what trackers have been blocked.

According to Microsoft, the three tracking prevention modes will help protect against the type of personalization that leads to fingerprinting. Edge does not block ads natively, but you can download ad-blocking extensions. Because the browser is now based on Chromium, many Chrome extensions (as well as extensions from the Microsoft Store) will work with this latest version of Edge, a distinct advantage

Source: This news is originally published by theverge