How to choose between Adobe or Edge to open PDF downloaded from external source?

Sunny Wong 1 Reputation point
2023-05-03T05:07:30.0933333+00:00

I need guidance on how to open PDFs which are Product User Manuals and Engineering Drawings with least security risk.

However, antivirus (up to date and active) is insufficient according to advice from following website: avoid unknown sender; ensure PDF is not executable

How to decide whether Edge Browser or Adobe is safer to open Product User Manuals and Engineering Drawings when they do not contain multi-media nor animations?

Please correct me if wrong, I prefer Adobe for its following features not explicitly shown on Edge

Sandbox Protection

 Enabled Protected Mode at Startup

Run in AppContainer

Protected View Enabled for Files from potentially unsafe locations

Enhanced Security Enabled

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge
A Microsoft cross-platform web browser that provides privacy, learning, and accessibility tools.
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Windows 10 Security
Windows 10 Security
Windows 10: A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.Security: The precautions taken to guard against crime, attack, sabotage, espionage, or another threat.
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  1. Limitless Technology 44,046 Reputation points
    2023-05-03T15:46:29.8366667+00:00

    Hello

    Thank you for your question and reaching out.

    Security and reliability :

    Security is among the most important tenets for any organization. PDF reader security is an integral part of the Microsoft Edge security design. Two of the most important security features From a PDF reader perspective, two important security features are process isolation and Microsoft Defender Application Guard (Application Guard).

    Process isolation. PDFs opened from different web sites are completely process isolated. The browser doesn't have to communicate with any websites, or PDF files opened from another source. PDF browsing is secure from any attacks that plan to use compromised PDFs as an attack surface.

    Application Guard. With Application Guard, admins can set a list of sites that are trusted by their organization. If users open any other sites, they are opened in a separate Application Guard window that runs in its own container. The container helps protect the corporate network and any data on user's computer from being compromised.

    Reliability:

    Because Microsoft Edge is Chromium-based, users can expect the same level of reliability that they're used to seeing in other Chromium-based browsers.

    Reference:

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/deployedge/microsoft-edge-pdf

    --If the reply is helpful, please Upvote and Accept as answer--


  2. ShiJieLi-MSFT 8,266 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor
    2023-05-04T08:09:03.96+00:00

    Hi @Sunny Wong,

    As a complement to Limitless Technology's answer:

    If "clean" means to remove all the JavaScript of a PDF file, I would say this feature is not available currently in Microsoft Edge. The best you can do is disable JavaScript execution while you view PDF files within Edge.

    As to Application Guard,

    any PDF files that are downloaded from an Application Guard window are stored, and when needed, re-opened in the container.

    This means you can download PDF files in Application Guard window, but you can only view/edit them within the Application Guard window. The restriction also applies to E-mail attachments.

    It is hard to say which PDF viewer is safer since Adobe Reader is a standalone PDF viewer while Microsoft Edge PDF viewer is built-in. IMO, Application Guard serves in the same way as those features of Adobe Reader you've mentioned. You can compare their features based on the information we've shared.


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    Best Regards,

    Shijie Li