Microsoft Defender for Individuals: What Does It Do?

A woman sitting at a table looking at her laptop screen

On June 16, 2022, Microsoft announced Microsoft Defender for Individuals.

So, why should that matter to you and your company?

Well, as a result of the pandemic, the views on the workplace changed dramatically. Our world is now a hybrid one.

That means for many businesses, every employee’s home is connected to form a “virtual-office.”

In addition, the outsourcing market has changed the ways companies utilize their networks. Now, more than ever, the common practice among freelancers is to work similar hours as their employers.

As a result, taxes and overhead remain largely reduced for employers. In fact, for large consumer product companies, approximately 68% of their employees are outsourced.

This all drives home the point that home devices your network security remain more intertwined and important than ever. Your employees’ devices, located in homes around the world, now have access to your company data.

The fact remains: On average, 55% of employees use their own devices and software to work from home.

During this huge shift in work environments, Microsoft has been at the forefront.

That’s where Microsoft Defender comes into play.

This latest release is another example of how the company has positioned its products to meet new demands.

Mind you, Microsoft’s latest security offering isn’t directly for business plans. The program is for users of Microsoft 365 for Personal and Family.

Essentially, the tool is a brand-new digital home security system.

But, while it might not be explicitly for business, when your employees’ personal devices are involved, your company has a direct stake in the results.

Let’s take a look at what Microsoft Defender is all about, and why it can make a world of difference for you and your team.

The Basics of Microsoft Defender for Individuals

Microsoft Defender is a new app that Microsoft 365 subscribers can download. Anyone with a Personal or Family plan can access it for no extra cost.

According to Microsoft, the main driver for offering Microsoft Defender was to protect the digital life of small businesses and families, who often use consumer Microsoft 365 plans. This are popular because they are less expensive than the more comprehensive business plans.

This app brings many digital protections together into one dashboard.

Microsoft Defender for Individuals
Image credits: Images via Microsoft.com

Online Security Visibility

Most families have several devices connected to their network, including computers, tablets, and smartphones.

And, with children, spouses, and teenagers often using the same equipment or network, it’s nearly impossible to know which devices could be vulnerable – or even hacked – just waiting to infect others.

Microsoft Defender gives you visibility into the security status of your devices, all in a single place.

So, you could see if your daughter’s new phone has antivirus enabled or not.

You can also easily add or remove devices.

Microsoft Defender for Individuals

Device Safeguards

In addition to ease of use, the app includes extra protections from online threats.

Most importantly, these come in the form of antivirus and anti-phishing protection.

You can use it to continually scan devices for threats, both new and existing. You also gain control of scanning customization.

For example, you can mark certain apps as safe, or tell Microsoft Defender specifically what to scan.

Real-Time Alerts & Recommendations

Hackers typically use automation and AI to unleash their attacks and help them spread. This means that it’s often a race against the clock to stop a breach from getting worse.

To react fast, you need to know something is wrong. Microsoft Defender helps you by giving you real-time alerts. These also come with recommended actions. So, you not only know something is wrong, but you also know what to do about it.

Crime-as-a-service
Related: Why Crime-as-a-Service is Plaguing Small Businesses

Where Can You Download It?

You can download Microsoft Defender for Individuals from Microsoft here. Note: You’ll need to have a Microsoft 365 subscription to either the Personal or Family plan.

What Devices Can Use It?

You can use Defender to secure 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 allows you to watch the security of many of your home or work devices. The Microsoft 365 plan you have will dictate how many.

  • If you have Microsoft 365 Personal plan, you can receive protection on up to 5 devices at the same time.
  • If you have Microsoft 365 Family plan, you can receive protection on up to 30 devices at the same time. (5 devices per person, 6 people total)

What Are the Key Differences Between the Personal & Family Plans?

Both plans can access the many different Office and other Microsoft applications. The main difference is how many people and devices can use the Microsoft 365 services.

As of Nov. 14, 2022, the plans are as following:

  • Microsoft 365 Personal: $69.99 US/year, 1 person, 5 devices
  • Microsoft 365 Family: $99.99 US/year, 6 people, 5 devices per person
 

So, if you want to sign up even 2 people, you’re saving quite a bit with the Family plan. Even more, if you have six people total using the service

What’s the Difference Between Microsoft Security on Windows & Microsoft Defender?

While most Windows users are already familiar with the Microsoft Security app (it comes pre-installed on Windows), Microsoft Defender differs from in several ways.

Microsoft Defender:

  • Is not pre-installed on Windows. You must download it.
  • Is a cross-device application used on many different devices
  • Includes features for online security
  • Includes alerts and security tips

While it’s similar in many ways, with familiar user interfaces, it’s definitely a more comprehensive experience.

Learn More About Microsoft Defender & Microsoft 365 Today

If your team is working remotely, you know how important it is to take extra caution in safeguarding your systems.

While a program like Microsoft Defender for Individuals might not be designed explicitly for businesses, it nonetheless helps protect your employees. And, when your remote employees are protected, your business is better protected.

So, are you looking to get more from your Microsoft 365 subscription?

Blue Bastion, along with out IT division Ideal Integrations, can help.

Simply contact us at 412-349-6680 , or fill out the form below for a no-obligation consultation on your needs and goals.

And, as always, stay vigilant!

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