Microsoft ‘Defender’ service to protect Android, iOS and MacOS devices

Microsoft has long had surgery its own antivirus software for Windows PCs. But now the company is making a security app that can also protect your Android, iOS and macOS devices.

The Microsoft Defender app will be available to paid subscribers of the Microsoft 365 cloud office software, and is designed as an all-in-one solution for all your security needs, across a range of devices from Microsoft, Google and Apple.

However, the name can confuse consumers. The company calls its built malwarescanning software for PCs Microsoft Defender Antivirus, accessible through the Windows Security app.

In contrast, Microsoft 365’s newly announced Defender service extends antivirus and antiphishing monitoring to all Android, iOS, and macOS devices the customer owns once the app is installed.

“Microsoft Defender is simplified online security that meets you and your family wherever you are by bringing multiple protections together in one dashboard,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President Vasu Jakkal wrote(Opens in a new window) in a blog post.

Features for Microsoft Defender

The “single dashboard” approach aims to appeal to users who want to manage their entire family’s online security through a single platform. In her blog post, Jakkal cited software “fragmentation” as a major stumbling block that can prevent users from tracking online threats.

To fix this, Microsoft Defender is not only cross-platform but can also work with some existing antivirus products on your devices, including Norton and McAfee. The app also provides security tips and real-time recommendations, in addition to starting routine malware scans.

“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,” added Jakkal.

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However, Microsoft Defender does have a limitation. The app’s anti-malware protection only applies to Android and macOS, in addition to Windows. Apple’s iOS and iPadOS, meanwhile, only receive “web protection,” which is designed to stop phishing attacks

To us, the app comes across as redundant. But again, if you already subscribe to Microsoft 365, you get a free perk. The security app can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website(Opens in a new window)

Interested users can get Microsoft Defender by: subscribe(Opens in a new window) to Microsoft 365, which starts at $6.99 per month for individuals and $9.99 for a family account.

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