Microsoft is expanding farther into the iOS and Android universe. The company announced plans this week to launch a mobile version of its Defender antivirus software on both platforms, hopefully making the internet a little safer for everyone.
While Defender isn’t perfect, it’s a mostly unintrusive, low-profile app that runs by default on Windows 10 platforms, and it does a great job of preventing spyware, phishing, and malware attacks on desktops and laptops. I’ve only used Defender for years and have never had a problem with viruses or infected machines. Defender is a great solution if you stay away from unknown sites, don’t try to pirate anything, and don’t click on random links in your email. If you tend to do any of those things, you might want to invest in something a little more robust. The upside to Defender on Desktop is that it’s already installed with Windows 10, keeps itself up to date, and Microsoft makes sure it plays well with other programs that connect to the internet. If Microsoft can bring the same level of performance and protection to mobile devices, it would be a win-win for users.
With so many people owning several internet-connected devices, it’s more common than ever to use multiple platforms, or to use more than one operating system. Having a singular easy-to-use antivirus solution available to everyone, on everything, would be a terrific way to create a safer internet experience for mobile users. Apple and Google already try to keep their platforms as safe as possible, but both platforms have weaknesses. Apple doesn’t allow third-party services to circumvent its in-house security profiles, and Google can’t even keep malware off the official app store. A third-party client could be a terrific way to solidify safety across platforms, while still using a top-tier brand.
The Defender software has slowly been moving into new platforms over the last few years, and mobile platforms is the next logical step. Microsoft released an Advanced Threat Protection version of Defender for Linux, which is still a work in progress, and in 2019 the company launched Defender software for macOS. Having a Linux, iOS, Android, and Windows 10 option available to users should make it easier for everyone to stay protected across all of their devices, which would cut down on the rate that malware spreads and make it easier for Microsoft to detect threats and identify attacks.
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