From the small netbook to the large gaming tower, Windows Defender ensures the security of millions of machines using the Microsoft operating system. But is it enough?
Microsoft Security Essentials was aincluded by in Windows from 2009, until it was supplanted by Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center. With this software, Microsoft ensured that customers had some protection from the first start of their . It costs them nothing and requires no action on their part.
Protection that has evolved over the years
When’from Microsoft was scrutinized for the first time, it didn’t impress. But it improved over time, so much so that it started getting top marks in reviews from independent labs like AV-Comparatives.
Defender didn’t totally steal the show from McAfee and Bitdefender. You could put that down 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 from. This is particularly bad compared to the 89 and 90% blocked by Firefox and Chrome. In these tests, Kaspersky and McAfee blocked 100% of phishing sites (tests performed by PCMag).
This is all the more disappointing as phishing attacks can do a lot of damage and they don’t require great technical sophistication from the attackers. A phishing site tricks people into volunteering 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.
Windows Defender also doesn’t cover the same product line as third-party security companies. The company that sells you softwarecan also provide backup protection, password manager, and and much more, often bundled together in a security suite.
The limitations 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 that means you have to userather than Chrome or Firefox as the default browser, 365 rather than Workspace or LibreOffice, and Microsoft Teams rather than Slack or .
Therefore, if your Chrome or Firefox browser comes across a malicious website, you’ll have to rely on the protection of the browser 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’re limited to machines running the Pro, Enterprise, or Education versions ofet 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 iOS of your children, but it requires a paid subscription to Microsoft Office 365.