Microsoft launches new Defender cybersecurity app via Windows, macOS, iOS and Android today. While the software giant has used the nickname Defender for its antivirus protection for years, this new cross-platform application Microsoft Defender is designed for individuals as a simplified dashboard that enters existing antivirus software or offers additional devices.
Microsoft Defender will be available to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers today, and features vary by platform. On iOS and iPadOS, for example, there is no anti-virus protection, and the app offers some online phishing protection instead along with a dashboard that includes alerts for other devices.
On Android, Microsoft Defender includes antivirus protection and the ability to scan for malware. The program will also scan for links to offer online phishing protection. Microsoft Defender on Windows acts more like a dashboard than trying to replace the built-in Windows Security program. You can view your existing antivirus protection from Norton, McAfee, or other vendors and manage and view security protections across devices.
Microsoft Defender also includes security alerts and tips across multiple devices, though the tips are only available on Windows and macOS.
The app feels like it will be superfluous for many, but it will be useful for those who want to protect family members and multiple devices in a simple dashboard. Microsoft promises that more features are on the way as well.
“The expansion of our security portfolio with Microsoft Defender for individuals is the natural and exciting progress in our journey as a security company,” says Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft security. “It simply came to our notice then. As we look forward, we will continue to bring more protections under a single panel, including features such as identity protection and secure internet connection. “