Do you feel your devices are safe when you’re online? Do you know how easy it can be to help keep you and your information safe? As part of our “the Story of Windows” series, we are happy to introduce the Windows Defender team who work to help protect your devices and the info on them. Let’s hear their story!

Windows Community: Tell us about your feature.

Windows Defender team: We are working on the Windows Defender Security Center, the new app built into Windows where you can see at a glance if your device is being protected and overall device health is OK, or if you need to take any actions. Security shouldn’t be complicated, and one of our goals with the Windows Defender Security Center is to make it so you don’t have to be an expert or a technical person to understand or manage your security.

Who’s on your team and what do they do?

Windows Defender team: There are about 125 people working on Windows Defender Antivirus feature and on the new app. This includes developers, quality assurance, program managers, researchers, data scientists, and a designer. We also collaborate with other teams across Microsoft.

Windows Defender team members

What is the story behind the Windows Defender Security Center?

Windows Defender team: We spend a lot of time listening to the people who use Windows through the Windows Feedback Hub, through user studies, through online forums. One of the things we hear consistently is that security needs to be easier. Everyone we hear from seems to understand that device security is essential, and we also hear that most people don’t have the time or the energy to get a deep understanding of security. They just want to feel like they are protected, so they can use their device for more fun things. After hearing stories, like the woman who lost all her family pictures due to a ransomware attack, or from people who have a drawer of old laptops that they gave up on because they got infected by viruses, we set to work to try to help people more easily guard against these problems, as well as be able to react to them when they do happen. And that led us to create the new Windows Defender Security Center.

What benefit do customers get by using the Windows Defender Security Center? What do you want them most to know about?

Windows Defender team: Windows Defender Security Center is built into Windows, and designed to work well with Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge. The main goal of this new app is to make it easier for you to view and control the security protections you choose and better understand the security features already protecting you on your Windows 10 device. This new suite contains 5 areas of security.

  • Virus & threat protection – Contains Windows Defender Antivirus, which you already own as part of Windows 10. This is a fully functioning antivirus and antimalware product, helping to protect you from both well-known and new or emerging threats.
  • App & browser protection – Contains Windows Defender SmartScreen settings, which allow you to get warnings or block suspicious activity on your device.
  • Device performance & health – Helps to find and recommend solutions for some common problems on your device, including problems with Windows Update and low storage capacity.
  • Firewall & network protection – Allows you to manage your Windows Firewall settings.
  • Family options – Provides easy access to settings to help simplify your family’s digital life, including setting smart limits for kids’ screen time and seeing the security status of other devices your family uses.

How do you want Windows customers to use your feature?

Windows Defender team: By default, Windows Defender Security Center will start with the settings that work best for most customers based on our research. You can always choose to change your settings, and if we ever have reason to think something may make your device less secure the app will let you know. For example, if a threat is found, we’ll give you an icon in the app and the task bar notification. In the app, you will see a button with our recommendation for how to fix it.

What do customers need to do to protect their devices in Windows?

Windows Defender team: It’s easy! Windows Defender Security Center is already installed. If you use Windows 10 Creators Update, type Windows Defender Security Center in the Windows Search box, and click to open the app.

Windows Defender Security Center icon in Windows Search

If you see all green, that means we don’t have any recommendations for you and you’re ready to go. If you see a yellow or red warning sign it means, there are actions available to help secure your device. With the recommendation, there will be a button with a suggestion for fixing the issue, or you can click the icon to get more information. Most of this same information is available in earlier versions of Windows, in Settings, Control Panel, and other places; in the Windows 10 Creators Update we bring it all together in one place, and make it easier to understand.

Windows Defender Security Center screenshot

What are the short-term and long-term goals of your team?

Windows Defender team: Short term goal is to make security accessible to everyone, and to ensure that all Windows 10 users are protected, meaning that they can feel comfortable turning on their new Windows 10 device, connecting to the internet, and having fun right away! Longer term we plan to continue to make Windows more secure out of the box. Our goal is to make the most secure operating system ever.

What’s one sentence your team wants to say to Windows users?

Windows Defender team: We are listening to your feedback, and we’re working hard on making security as easy as possible.

Please check related information:

You can meet Beth, a Program Manager on the Windows Defender team, at our “Meet Windows Maker” interview series and the team from the Windows Defender team story video.