Microsoft Defender extends malware protection for macOS and Android. Accessible via a subscription, the tool aims to simplify personal device security


On Thursday, Microsoft presented a new security product called “Microsoft Defender for Individuals”, which is intended to simplify the security of private devices. This new offering combines various security elements into a single dashboard. According to Microsoft, the tool can display protections for some of the most popular antivirus programs, including Norton and MacAfee. Also, it can protect a variety of devices, not just Windows PCs. Applications for this software are already available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

A little over a month ago, Microsoft announced the availability of its security tool for small and medium-sized businesses: “Microsoft Defender for Business”. The company announced that the standalone version of “Microsoft Defender for Business” helps protect against ransomware and other cyber threats and provides “enterprise-grade endpoint security for SMBs.” To underscore the importance of this solution, Microsoft reports that nearly a quarter of SMBs have experienced a security breach in the past year, often because they lack the human resources and resources that businesses have.

On Thursday, Microsoft launched another member of its growing family of Defender-branded products. This new tool, called “Microsoft Defender for Individuals,” aims to secure families of devices, not just Windows PCs. The tool offers malware protection for multiple operating systems, along with security tips and the ability to check the protection status of all devices connected to your Microsoft account or those of your family. It’s available now for Microsoft 365 subscribers and works on Windows, macOS, iOS/iPadOS, and Android devices.

Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president, security, compliance, identity, and management, pointed out that as people use a variety of devices, security efforts can be fragmented. To keep your data private and your devices secure, people often turn to multiple security products with scattered security monitoring and device management. This fragmentation makes it even harder to keep track of the growth in online threats, Jakkal said. He also explained that this new Defender software is an offshoot of the Microsoft Defender for Business product.

The application supports various functions on different operating systems. On macOS and Android, it offers real-time protection against malware. This feature is not included on Windows, as Microsoft Defender Antivirus software is already included by default in all Windows 10 and 11 installations. Antivirus protection is also not available on iOS and iPadOS, where Apple restricts the types of third-party apps they can do. “Safety Tips” are only provided in the Windows and macOS versions of the app.

Jakkal said Microsoft plans to build other forms of protection into the tool in the future, including “features like identity theft protection and secure online sign-in.” Microsoft has highlighted four ways that Microsoft Defender for Individuals has provided protection so far:

  • Manage your safety precautions and view safety precautions for all your family members from a single, easy-to-use, centralized dashboard.
  • View your existing antivirus (Norton, MacAfee, etc.). Defender recognizes these protections within the dashboard;
  • Extend Windows device protection to iOS, Android, and Mac devices for cross-platform anti-malware protection on the devices you and your family use most.
  • Get instant security alerts, remediation strategies, and expert advice to protect your data and devices.

Microsoft Defender for Individuals is available with a Microsoft 365 account, which also gives you access to 1 TB of OneDrive storage, an Outlook email inbox, Microsoft Office apps, and video calling with Microsoft Teams. A single Microsoft 365 account costs $70 per year and covers up to five devices linked to an individual’s Microsoft account.

A family account costs $100 per year and covers up to six people who can each connect to five devices. Existing subscribers can download the app and sign in with their Microsoft accounts. Jakkal said people who aren’t Family or Personal subscribers can’t purchase the Defender for Individuals tool, but there is a free 30-day trial of the product.

Source: microsoft

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See also

Microsoft Defender for Business is available – this SMB security tool provides endpoint security to protect against ransomware

Cybersecurity Trends: 2022 is likely to see tightening legislation and security standards, but also a worrying rise in ransomware and technological risks

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Microsoft Defender will soon be able to block Windows password theft thanks to a new security rule “Attack Surface Reduction” enabled by default

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