From the small netbook to the large gaming tower, Windows Defender ensures the safety of millions of machines using the Microsoft operating system. Stop it?
Microsoft Security Essentials was aincluded from in Windows since 2009, until it was supplanted by Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center. With this software, Microsoft has given customers some protection from the very first start . It costs them nothing and requires no action on their part.
Protection that has evolved over the years
When’from Microsoft was first looked into, did not impress. But it got better over time, so much so that it started getting top marks in reviews from independent labs like AV-Comparatives.
Gaps persist …
Defender didn’t completely steal the show from McAfee and Bitdefender. You could attribute this to decades of competitor name recognition, but testing revealed some notable shortcomings in Windows Defender. For example, Edge’s SmartScreen filter would only block 68% of sites. This is particularly bad compared to the 89 and 90% blocked by Firefox and Chrome. In these tests, Kaspersky and McAfee blocked 100% of the phishing sites (tests performed by PCMag).
This is all the more disappointing as phishing attacks can cause a lot of damage and don’t require great technical refinement on the part of attackers. A phishing site tricks people into voluntarily providing personal information, such as credit card numbers, by impersonating a legitimate website. To learn more about this particular threat, you can read our article on how to do it.
Additionally, Windows Defender doesn’t cover the same product line as third-party security companies. The company that sells you softwarealso can provide backup protection, password manager, a and more, often bundled into a security suite.
The limits of Windows Defender
The problem is, to get the best protection from Windows built-in security tools and features, you need to stick with Microsoft products. So this means you have to useinstead of Chrome or Firefox as the default browser, 365 instead of Workspace or LibreOffice and Microsoft Teams instead of Slack or .
Therefore, if your Chrome or Firefox browser encounters a malicious website, you will have to rely on the browser’s protection itself, not Microsoft’s (Chrome and Firefox’s protections are pretty good on their own).
Microsoft offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, but they are limited to machines running the Pro, Enterprise, or Education versions ofand Windows 11.
So that theworks fine, your kids should be using Edge and no other browsers on Windows. You can also install the Microsoft Family Safety on devices and your children’s iOS, but requires a paid subscription to Microsoft Office 365.