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Microsoft brings Windows Defender to Chrome and Firefox

For now, the protections are only available for Windows Insiders.

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Microsoft wants Windows PCs to be safe from malicious URLs.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft has launched its Windows Defender extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The company said its goal was to extend its container technology to other browsers and give customers a way to protect themselves against browser-based attacks.

The extensions automatically redirect untrusted navigations to Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, Windows Insider program head Dona Sokar and senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog post on Friday.

When you visit a site, Windows Defender checks the URL against a list of trusted sites. If the site is deemed malicious, you'll be redirected to an isolated Microsoft Edge session. From there, you can travel to any site that hasn't been defined as trusted by your organization without any risk to the rest of your system.

"With our upcoming dynamic switching capability, if the user tries to go to a trusted site while in an isolated Microsoft Edge session, the user is taken back to the default browser," Sokar and LeBlanc said.

For now, the Windows Defender Application Guard extension for Chrome and Firefox is just for Windows Insiders with Windows 10 and Pro SKUs on 1803 or later. Microsoft said it'll be available more generally "very soon."

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