Microsoft added identity theft protection to Defender, a security app that informs users of security threats in real time.
Microsoft originally introduced Defender back in 2006 that focused solely on device vulnerabilities ever since, scanning computers with Windows 7, Windows Vista, and newer operating systems for spyware.
Defender is still built into Windows OS free of charge, but users who pay for Microsoft 365 the subscription service offering access to Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other classic Microsoft productivity apps can now opt into identity theft monitoring for no extra cost.
Microsoft partnered with Experian that allows Defender to detect and track in open internet. When it detects a threat to information from any of 64 categories, Defender alerts the user to the exact information being exposed, as well as how the breach occurred in the first place. This allows the user to make a more informed decision about next steps.
If a user’s personal information is compromised, Defender displays contextual recommendations regarding corrective action. It also helps the user understand the risks associated with each type of exposure. For those who struggle to take action on their own, Defender offers a 24/7 team for support.
Microsoft says 365 subscribers who experience identity theft will be reimbursed up to $1 million for the costs of restoring their identity (i.e. legal fees) as well as $100,000 for lost funds.
Those who subscribe to Microsoft 365 Personal receive monitoring for one person and up to five devices; those with the Family tier receive monitoring for five people, each with up to five devices. Users have to enable the feature within Defender to receive identity theft monitoring.