Image for article titled Try Microsoft Edge's 'Super Duper Secure Mode' early on

Microsoft is testing a “Super Duper Secure Mode” (or SDSM) for the Edge browser that targets the bane of all browser security: Javascript. In particular, activating the SDSM mode deactivates the Javascript Just-In-Time (JIT) compilerwebsites that use websites to optimize the Javascript code executed on the page.

JITs increase page loading speed and browser performance, but are known to be exploited by hackers. As a result, Microsoft Edge’s Vulnerability Research team decided to disable the JIT entirely and found that it fixed almost half of the bugs that needed to be fixed. Several other security features can be activated when JITs are disabled, including Control Flow Guard (CFG), Control Flow-Enforcement Technology (CET), and Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG) – each of which adds even more layers of protection to users (and their data ) secure.

Better yet, with fewer bugs to fix, users are less likely to need to install security updates or emergency patches.

If disabling Javascript JIT compilers increases security so much, why did you enable them in the first place? The short answer is performance: while JITs are vulnerable, they are widely accepted because of their perceived advantage for browser speed.

Microsoft is testing the impact of disabling JITs on the user experience, and initial results show occasional effects on page loading, memory usage, and device power consumption – although browser startup times have actually improved.

Image for article titled Try Microsoft Edge's 'Super Duper Secure Mode' early on

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With SDSM currently in the testing phase, it is possible that those who try it will experience other bugs and performance issues, but Microsoft intends to increase stability and improve the mode with more protections in the coming months.

Oh, and the research team says they might drop the name, but I kind of hope they keep it.

How to activate Microsoft Edge’s Super Duper Secure Mode now

If you want to try Microsoft Edge’s Super Duper Secure Mode, download one of the Edge Insider builds for Windows and enable it in the experimental flags menu. It’s available in beta, dev, and canary versions, and will come in the stable version in the future (Microsoft also plans to bring it to the Mac and Android at some point.) After that:

  1. Run the browser and then go to edge: // flags
  2. Use the search bar to find “Super Duper Secure Mode.”
  3. Enable the flag and restart the browser when prompted.
  4. After restarting, Edge is in Super Duper Secure Mode.

[OnMSFT]