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Microsoft brings online Defender to consumers

Microsoft has launched its new Defender cybersecurity app across Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.

The app is now generally available to all of your personal devices, not just Windows PCs and commercial computers.

The software giant has used the name Defender for antivirus protection for years. But the new multi-platform Defender app is designed for individuals as more than a simplified dashboard that takes advantage of existing antivirus software or provides additional device protection.

Defender is available to Microsoft 365 personal and family subscribers in most countries. Prices start at $70 per year for a personal account in the US.

Features vary by platform. There is no virus protection across iOS and iPadOS, for example. The app offers some web phishing protection instead along with a dashboard that includes alerts for other devices.

While Defender on Android includes antivirus protection and the ability to scan for malicious apps. The app also scans links to provide protection against web phishing.

Windows Defender acts as a dashboard rather than trying to replace the built-in Windows Security application.

You can view current antivirus protection from Norton, McAfee, or other vendors, and manage and view cross-device security protection.

The defender also includes security alerts and tips across multiple devices, although the tips are only available on Windows and macOS.

Microsoft launches Defender for multiple systems


The app is useful for those who want to protect family members and multiple devices with a simple control panel. Microsoft promises more features are on the way, too.

“Expanding our security suite with Defender for People is a natural progression of our journey as a security company,” said Vasu Jakal, Corporate Vice President for Security, Compliance, Identity, Management, and Privacy.

She added, “This is just the beginning. And as we look forward, we continue to bring more protections together under one dashboard, including features such as identity theft protection and secure online connectivity.

This application will not necessarily replace all of your other defenses. And you still need to be vigilant, especially with regard to fraud and other digital crimes that Microsoft’s tool doesn’t currently cover. But it can be a useful extension, and it’s an easy option if you’re using Microsoft 365.

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