Microsoft Defender for Individuals: What Is It and What Does It Do?


Microsoft, one of the biggest technology giants in the world, must prioritize security. While often adding security apps to M365, most assume the features are only for businesses. Don’t be mistaken, there is Microsoft Defender for individuals: what is it and what does it do?

With the pandemic not far behind us, our view on the workplace has been altered. It is now a hybrid world. One consisting of multiple “mini-office” locations in employees homes.

Additionally, the outsourcing market is a huge contributor to the evolution in the company networks. Even freelancers can end up working the same amount of hours as employees. This reduces overhead and tax payments. Approximately 68% of large consumer product businesses outsource their employees.

As you can see, there is a huge demand for home devices and stronger network security. Company information is now at the mercy of employee devices that are no longer in-office.

Over 50% of employees are using there own devices and software to work from home.

Microsoft has taken the lead when it comes to shifting the workplace. The most recent release of products and applications show how much they are able to position themselves to meet new demands.

Microsoft’s latest security offerings are not just for the business plans. It is for Personal and Family Microsoft 365 users. Microsoft Defender for individuals came out early this year. Defender is a brand new digital home security tool.

Fundamentals of Microsoft Defender for Individuals. 

If you are a MS 365 member, you will be able to download the new Microsoft Defender. Whoever has a personal or family plan can access it at no additional cost.

According to Microsoft, the motivation for offering Defender was from the need to protect the digital lives of small businesses and households. Small businesses often use consumer-size MS 365 plans. Mainly because they are less expensive than business plans.

The app brings together multiple digital protections onto a single dashboard. Including the following:

Online Security Visibility

Most families and households have multiple devices they connect to their network. This includes smartphones, tablets and laptops. It can be difficult to determine which devices are vulnerable before a one hack infects others.

With Microsoft Defender, you are able to view the security status of each device. So, you might see if Sally’s new phone has antivirus on. You’ll also be able to simply add and remove devices.

Device Protection

The application provides extra protection against online threats. This help comes in the form of antivirus and anti-phishing protection.

You can use this feature to continuously monitor devices for new and existing threats. You will have the ability to customize scanning. For example, you can mark specific apps as safe and instruct Microsoft Defender what to inspect.

Real-Time Alerts and Suggestions

Hackers will use automation and AI to launch and spread remote attacks. This means you won’t have much time to prevent an attack or breach from getting worse.

In order to act fast, you must be made aware that something is wrong. Microsoft Defender provides you with real-time alerts. They will include recommendations for certain actions you can take. So, not only are you aware something is wrong, but you’ll also know how to fix it.

Other Things to Note with Defender

Here are the other important things you should not about Microsoft Defender:

Where Can You Download It?

You are able to download Microsoft Defender directly from here. The only requirement is that you have a Microsoft 365 subscription or a Personal and Family plan.

Which Devices Can Use It?

Defender can be used to protect and monitor the following devices:

  • Windows: Windows 10 version 19041.0 and higher
  • Mac: Intel Macs from Catalina 10.15 and higher, and Apple silicon-based devices from 11.2.3 and up
  • iPhone: iOS 13.0 or later
  • Android: Android OS 6.0 or later

How Many Devices Can You Add?

Microsoft Defender enables you to monitor the security of many home and office devices. Your M365 plan will determine the quantity.

  • If you have the Microsoft 365 Personal plan, you can secure up to 5 devices simultaneously.
  • If you have the Microsoft 365 Family subscription, you can cover up to 30 devices simultaneously. (5 devices per person, 6 individuals overall)

What are the Differences Between the Personal and Family Plans?

Both plans include access to the various Office and Microsoft apps. The primary difference is the number of users and devices that can access Microsoft 365 services.

  • Microsoft 365 Personal: $69.99 US/year, 1 individual and 5 devices
  • Microsoft 365 Family: $99.99 US/year for 6 people and 5 devices per person
  • Therefore, if you want to sign up even two people, the Family plan provides huge savings. Even more if there are a total of six users of the service.

How are Microsoft Security on Windows and Microsoft Defender different?

Most Windows users are already familiar with the Microsoft Security app. It comes as a default on Windows. This application is different than MS Defender in a few key ways.

Microsoft Defender:

  • Not pre-installed on Windows. It must be downloaded.
  • It is a cross-device application utilized on multiple devices
  • It offers online security features
  • It includes security alerts and tips

Learn More About Microsoft Defender

Are you looking to get more out of your Microsoft 365 subscription? Who wouldn’t. Now that you’ve asked yourself about Microsoft Defender for individuals: what is it and what does it do, let’s help you meet your personal security goals. Reach out and schedule a network assessment with our Microsoft 365 experts today!


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