Microsoft Edge is now able to switch users to a secure HTTPS connection when visiting websites via HTTP after enabling Automatic HTTPS. This feature is in preview in the Canary and Developer preview channels and is starting to select Microsoft Edge 92 users. The announcement, made on June 1, 2021, by the Microsoft Edge Team comes after the company added this feature to the Microsoft 365 roadmap in April, with an estimated release in July.

How does it work?

The automatic switching of HTTPS connections will protect Edge users from being attacked by a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attempting to snoop on data exchanged with websites via unencrypted HTTP connections. Data sent and received over HTTP (including passwords, credit card details, and various other sensitive information) can also be collected by malicious applications running on the computer. Ensuring that you always use HTTPS when browsing the web helps protect your data while on the go by encrypting connections to site servers. HTTPS also ensures that threatening actors who try to block your web traffic will not be able to convert data exchanged with Internet sites without being detected.

How to use it?

If you want to test it now, you have to go to- edge: //settings/privacy and turn on “Automatically switch to more secure connections with Automatic HTTPS.” If the test hasn’t reached you yet, you can enable it by going to the edge: //flags/#edge-automatic-https, toggling on the ‘Automatic HTTPS’ experimental flag, and restart the browser. HTTPS upgrades will be automatic without any alerts to let you browse the web as you normally would, but with a secure connection where possible. While, by default, Automatic HTTPS will switch to HTTPS only on sites that may support this secure protocol, you may also choose to have all communications changed, which may result in connection errors if the website loses HTTPS support. Microsoft is not the first web browser vendor to install the HTTPS-enabled option on all websites automatically. For example, Google Chrome defaults to HTTPS URLs typed in the address bar if no protocol is followed. Mozilla also adds HTTPS-Only Mode designed to protect web browsing by rewriting URLs to use the HTTPS protocol (or disabled by default, can be enabled from browser settings).

By Vedant Soni

Campus Ambassador, WCSF

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