Good news, Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers: Microsoft just announced several new features aimed at protecting your data from ransomware and other online threats.
For starters, if you happen to lose files in a ransomware attack, or for any other reason, you’ll now be able to restore your entire OneDrive to an earlier point in time within the last 30 days. This feature, dubbed Files Restore, was previously only available on OneDrive for Business, but is now available for personal accounts, too.
“If an attack is detected, you will be alerted through an email, mobile, or desktop notification and guided through a recovery process where you’ll find the date and time of attack preselected in Files Restore, making the process simple and easy to use,” Office Corporate Vice President Kirk Koenigsbauer wrote in a blog post.
Microsoft also plans to roll out enhanced email encryption capabilities in the coming weeks. If Outlook.com detects that you’ve added a Social Security number or another piece of sensitive information to an email, it may suggest that you encrypt the message. Recipients can view the encrypted email in Outlook.com, the Outlook for iOS or Android app, or the Windows Mail app just like any other message.
“Encryption is particularly useful in cases where it is unclear what level of security your intended recipients’ email providers offer,” Koenigsbauer wrote. In that case, “recipients receive a link to a trusted Office 365 webpage where they can choose to receive a one-time passcode or re-authenticate with a trusted provider before viewing the email.”
Another new option called Prevent Forwarding will, as its name suggests, stop recipients from being able to forward or copy emails you send via Outlook.com.
Plus, in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to protect shared OneDrive links with a password. So, if your intended recipient accidentally forwards or shares the link with someone else, that person won’t be able to access your file or folder without the password.
Later this year, links you click in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will “be checked in real-time to determine if the destination website is likely to download malware onto your computer or if it’s related to a phishing scam,” Koenigsbauer wrote. If something looks fishy, you’ll be redirected to a warning screen advising you to not visit the site.