Microsoft Defender for Individuals to offer protections on macOS, iOS, and Android

The Windows Defender for Individuals interface on laptop and phone

Microsoft has launched Defender for Individuals, which lets users access the antivirus software across multiple platforms including iOS, macOS, Android and Windows.

Defender, which has largely been an in-house product for the tech giant, will offer cyber security features on all the new platforms, but there will be varying types of protection on each.

The aim is to cover a team or family from online security no matter what OS or devices are in use. The Defender dashboard will offer tips and recommendations to boost endpoint security. The system will also grow with a users ecosystem, adding more devices and accounts and keeping them all in sync and up-to-date.

The system includes continuous antivirus and anti-phishing protection for both data and device protection and will allow users to manage and view security protections for everyone on the network from a single, centralised dashboard.

Users can also view their existing antivirus protection, such as Norton or McAfee, with Defender adding them to the dashboard. There will also be functions to receive instant security alerts, recommended remedies, as well as expert advice for device and data security.

Microsoft said it will continue to bring more protections together under a single dashboard, including features like identity theft protection and secure online connection, in the coming months.

However, Defender will work slightly differently on each platform. On Windows, for instance, the system will include a user-friendly dashboard with options to deploy multiple tools to surf the web safely. This won't be the case on the iOS and iPadOS versions, which won't have antivirus protection bundled in. Instead, they will simply have web phishing protections.

On Android, Defender will offer functions to scan for malicious apps as well as the full antivirus protection, which includes phishing.

"We believe every person and family should feel safe online," said Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft's corporate vice president of security, compliance, identity, and management. "This is an exciting step in our journey to bring security to all and I'm thrilled to share with you more about this new app, available with features for you to try today,"

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.