As early as 1993’s Microsoft Antivirus for MS-DOS, Microsoft included antivirus protection with its operating systems. In 2005, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Anti-spyware, the predecessor of the current Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
After a rocky start in which the antivirus program changed names and occasionally scored below zero in independent tests, Microsoft Defender Antivirus evolved into a passable (if not brilliant) malware-fighting utility with the release of Windows 10. Despite the many changes, Microsoft’s protection always remained free.
The recently released Microsoft Defender for Individuals made things explicitly clear on Microsoft’s description page that the new Defender is accessible as part of a consumer subscription to Microsoft 365.
Microsoft Defender for Individuals is a new device security app that has been added to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans. You can download it on multiple devices to better secure your technology.
The application made its US debut in preview. Parents can see security measures for every family member’s device. Users can also view third-party antivirus programs on the dashboard (such as McAfee and Norton).
Features of Microsoft Defender
Let’s examine the features of Microsoft Defender for Windows, Android, and iOS in more detail:
Monitor the security status of different devices.
The Microsoft Defender main dashboard is the only component that functions on each supported operating system (Windows, Android, and iOS). You can check and control all your devices’ internet security from here.
You can quickly find out the operational state of your computer using Windows. You only receive shortcuts to your genuine security solution when carrying out actions or altering some parameters for how it operates. For instance, if you don’t use third-party anti-malware software, you’ll get a shortcut that launches Windows Security.
You can check your smartphone for malware on Android by using Microsoft Defender. The software performs it automatically daily, but you can manually start a scan anytime. However, anti-malware security is not offered on iPhones.
Security from phishing links
The web protection feature is a nice bonus that is compatible with iOS and Android. With this, your mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets) are protected from phishing websites and links that seek to steal your personal information.
Is Microsoft Defender Worth It?
Even though the Microsoft Defender software is free, only those with a subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal or Family can use it. And even then, the number of devices you can add to your user account for monitoring is limited to 5 (five) per user. In addition, the app does not allow work or school accounts, so you must sign in using your own Microsoft account.
If you have a Microsoft 365 membership, you can use Microsoft Defender since it’s free. Second, you can use it to strengthen your device security, particularly on tablets and smartphones. Third, you will receive notifications if it finds threats.
There are some good reasons to overlook the Microsoft Defender app. It has a limited feature set, and the few true security features don’t work across all platforms. The Android and iOS features differ from Windows and macOS, respectively. Also, Windows Security comes equipped with this functionality already.
The benefit of adding the Defender for Individuals app to your family devices is that you can see security details for all of them in one dashboard. You don’t have to wonder if malware prevention has been added to a teen’s smartphone, for example.
The application also provides you with tips and security recommendations to help you improve your cyber hygiene. You also get real-time alerts should any threats be detected across your registered devices. With phishing and mobile malware attacks only getting worse each year, most people can benefit from this type of automated assistance.
To take advantage of the application, you simply download Microsoft Defender for Individuals to your respective devices and then sign in with your Microsoft 365 account.
Get Help Improving Your Device Security
It’s still uncertain what direction Microsoft intends to take the Microsoft Defender for individuals. At first glance, it may not seem to have a lot of features, however, Microsoft promises more robust enhancements over time.
A personal plan for Microsoft 365 costs approximately $6.99/month (paid annually), while a family package for up to six individuals costs about $9.99/month (paid annually). Besides online and downloadable versions of well-known programs like Excel, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint, a Microsoft 365 subscription grants you access to OneDrive cloud storage, and multiple other cloud-based tools.
Stay up to date with the latest security updates and features with Carl’s Computer Care. You can also get any service you need for your computer, security network, or smartphone. Fill out our contact form to get a quote, or call us at (225) 315-3498.