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Microsoft Defender launches on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android

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Microsoft today launched a new Defender cybersecurity app for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. While the software giant has been using the name Defender for its antivirus protection for years, this is: new cross-platform Microsoft Defender app is designed for individuals as more of a simplified dashboard that uses existing antivirus software or provides additional device security.

Microsoft Defender is available today for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers, and features vary by platform. For example, on iOS and iPadOS, there is no antivirus protection and instead the app offers some web phishing protections in addition to a dashboard with alerts for other devices.

On Android, Microsoft Defender offers antivirus protection and the ability to scan for malicious apps. The app also scans links to provide protection against web phishing. Microsoft Defender on Windows works more like a dashboard than an attempt to replace the built-in Windows Security app. You can review your existing antivirus protection from Norton, McAfee, or other vendors, and manage and view security protections across devices.

Microsoft Defender on Windows.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Defender also includes security warnings and multi-device tips, although the tips are only available on Windows and macOS.

The app feels like it will be obsolete for many, but it will come in handy for those who want to protect family members and multiple devices in a simple dashboard. Microsoft promises more features are on the way, too.

“Expanding our security portfolio to include Microsoft Defender for individuals is the natural and exciting advancement in our journey as a security company,” said Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft Security. “This is just the beginning. As we look ahead, we will continue to bring more protections together under one dashboard, including features such as identity theft protection and a secure online connection.”

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