Microsoft is launching a new Defender cybersecurity app today on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. While the software giant has used the Defender moniker for its antivirus protection for years, this new cross-platform Microsoft Defender app is designed for home users as a streamlined dashboard that leverages existing antivirus software or offers additional protections for devices. .
Microsoft Defender will be available today for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers, and features will vary by platform. On iOS and iPadOS, for example, there’s no antivirus protection, and the app instead offers web phishing protections, as well as a dashboard that includes alerts for other devices.
On Android, Microsoft Defender includes virus protection and the ability to scan for malicious apps. The app will also scan links to offer protection against web phishing. Microsoft Defender on Windows acts more like a dashboard rather than trying to replace the built-in Windows Security app. You can view your existing virus protection from Norton, McAfee, or other vendors and manage and view security protections across devices.
Microsoft Defender also includes security alerts and guidance across multiple devices, though the guidance is only available on Windows and macOS.
The app seems superfluous to many, but it will come in handy for those who want to protect family members and multiple devices in a simple dashboard. Microsoft also promises that more features are on the way.
“Expanding our security portfolio with Microsoft Defender for Consumers is a natural and exciting progression in our journey as a security company,” said Vasu Jakkal, vice president of Microsoft security. “This is just the beginning. Going forward, we’ll continue to bring more protections together under one dashboard, including features like identity theft protection and secure online sign-in.