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Microsoft looking to block crapware downloads

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Sadly, for all of mankind’s ingenuity in creating the internet, we have often utilised it to create software that is either harmful or absolutely rubbish. Known as crapware or adware, these apps aren’t necessarily malware but could be anything from toolbars stuffed with annoying ads, pesky notifications or bundle crypto miners. They’re absolutely vexing though and preferably should never be installed or even encountered if you have a little bit of common sense on how to use the internet.

That latter ingredient is also lacking amongst many internet users which is why it is necessary for companies to take matters into their own hands to ensure that this kind of drivel never gets installed in the first place. Microsoft is working on a SmartScreen Filter to protect against the usual phishing and malware along with optionally blocking downloads that contain potentially unwanted code. Something which will hopefully see fewer people install software of this nature, though being optional and not entirely idiot-proof, not rid us of the problem entirely.

The new feature is appearing in beta builds of Microsoft Edge, which suggests it will roll out to the stable channel soon. This feature won’t be enabled by default though and will then need to be enabled from the privacy and services part of Edge settings.

Google and Mozilla also offer similar browsing protections for malware and phishing, but Microsoft claims this new Edge feature goes further than Google’s Safe Browsing service. Microsoft used to only supply this protection to enterprise customers using Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and it’s now making its way to all businesses and consumers through Edge. So, I guess all those enterprise fees companies are paying will be benefitting the rest of us. It’s nice when big corporates can come to the party.

Last Updated: February 4, 2020

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