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Microsoft Edge Now Blocks Spam Web Notifications

Posted July 7, 2023 | Microsoft Edge | Windows

Microsoft announced today that its Edge web browser now blocks spam notifications, including those that trick users into allowing notifications.

“Website notifications are great for staying up to date on your favorite web apps, but they can also be used to spam you with messages that can be unwanted or even misleading,” the Microsoft Edge team writes in the announcement post. “We’ve made changes to help customers avoid these spammy messages and increase their peace of mind.”

The notifications that Edge now blocks come from “unfamiliar sites” and include notifications that try to deceive users. Microsoft is also working with law enforcement authorities when it identifies truly dangerous spam notifications, like those that pretend your PC is infected with a virus so that you will download malware masquerading as a fix.

Some notification spam is literally designed to fool the user into allowing notifications from that site. Microsoft says that this kind of notification spam doesn’t usually cause harm, but they’re annoying.

“We’ve identified and analyzed dozens of types of notifications that most customers would interpret as spammy notifications,” the team says. “In this process, we’ve also removed notification privileges from websites that send spammy notifications, in effect blocking billions of misleading notifications.”

And because its analysis showed that most spam notifications come from unfamiliar sites, Edge 113 and above will show the initial notification from such sites quietly, with just a subtle message in the address bar.

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