Does Windows Defender check for malware?

Yes, Windows Defender is a malware detection and prevention system designed to protect Windows users against malicious software threats such as viruses, worms, rootkits, spyware, adware and potentially unwanted programs. It works in conjunction with other Microsoft security products and services to provide strong real-time protection against malicious threats.

Windows Defender scans for malicious code every time you access or save a file, including files downloaded from the Internet and attachments received through email. If it detects suspicious activity, it will warn you and take appropriate action.

The Windows Defender program uses signature-based scanning technology to detect known malicious software, as well as heuristic detection to detect unknown variants of malicious software, including zero-day attacks. Signature-based scanning technology examines a file for specific characteristics associated with “bad” code, while heuristic scanning will look for suspicious behaviors that indicate malicious code.

Windows Defender also has real-time protection features, which can detect and block malicious attempts to install malware before it has a chance to execute on your system. This feature will also monitor your system and alert you if suspicious activity is detected.

Additionally, Windows Defender includes a network inspection feature which scans for any intrusions into your network and will alert you if any suspicious activity is detected. This feature can help keep your network secure and prevent potential attacks.

In addition to scanning for and blocking malicious software, Windows Defender also includes tools to help protect your system from malicious websites and phishing attacks. The link scanner feature examines each URL address before you visit it, to make sure it is safe, and warns you if a suspicious website is detected. The anti-phishing filter uses data from Microsoft SmartScreet to help protect against phishing scams, while the anti-spyware feature helps to protect against malicious spyware and adware.

Lastly, Windows Defender can help to prevent data loss due to malware, by deploying various quarantine techniques. By moving suspicious files to a designated area on your computer, Windows Defender can protect you from inadvertently opening or executing malicious code.

Overall, Windows Defender provides comprehensive protection from malicious threats through multiple layers of defense. From signature-based scanning and heuristic algorithms, to real-time protection and network monitoring, Windows Defender helps to keep your system safe from malicious software.