Microsoft Releases Consumer-Aimed 'Defender for Individuals'

Microsoft's latest Defender release is targeted at Microsoft 365 Personal or Microsoft 365 Family subscribers. 

This new "Microsoft Defender for individuals" app is currently at the "general availability" stage, meaning it's deemed ready for commercial use. Microsoft Defender for individuals is just available to subscribers to the Microsoft 365 Personal or Microsoft 365 Family suites, which includes access to Office apps and cloud storage, plus antivirus and antiphishing protections, for recurring monthly fees.

The Microsoft Defender for individuals app is now available as a separate no-cost download for those Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family users. It's available from the Apple, Google and Microsoft app stores.

Microsoft Defender for individuals is aimed at consumer users, but it's "built on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint technology" used by businesses, according to an announcement by Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president for security, compliance, identity and management at Microsoft.

The Microsoft Defender for individuals app provides individuals or families with a dashboard view of their device security. It's not just for Windows systems, but can also be used to protect Android, iOS and macOS devices. It also will work if consumers use a non-Microsoft antivirus product, which shows up in the dashboard. The app also sends "instant security alerts, resolution strategies and expert tips," according to the announcement by Jakkal.

The Microsoft Defender for individuals app has some limitations right now. It isn't available in some regions, as listed here. Its security tips feature currently only shows notifications regarding macOS and Windows devices.

The main idea behind the Microsoft Defender for individuals apps appears to be ease of use, rather than better protection, plus subscribers get protections extended to non-Windows devices. On the Windows side, Microsoft already includes Microsoft Defender Antivirus software in its Windows systems without an extra subscription cost, which Microsoft calls "Windows Security."

Essentially, Windows users of the Microsoft Defender for individuals app are just getting this same Windows Security antivirus protection that comes for free in Windows systems. This point is noted in the FAQ section of this Microsoft Defender landing page.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.