Microsoft OneDrive users have a new feature this month called Personal Vault that officially rolled out to all customers at the first of October.
What is Personal Vault? It’s an area in your existing OneDrive that has several extra security features. Microsoft often uses really generic names for things, and this is no different. In short, it’s a secure, personal, file vault.
OneDrive files are secure and encrypted in the cloud, but if your computer or laptop (or phone) is stolen and unlocked, those files are vulnerable. Personal Vault adds extra protection if your laptop or phone is stolen.
Personal Vault files are automatically encrypted on Windows 10 with BitLocker. No file sharing from this area is allowed so you can’t accidentally leak your important information. Another great security feature is called “scan and shoot”. This sends photos and scanned documents on your phone directly to your Personal Vault. When you scan documents with “scan and shoot”, they are never left unencrypted on your phone.
Personal Vault requires a second step of identification in addition to your Microsoft account login and password. Typically, you’ll need to use a fingerprint, face scan or PIN code. The vault also auto-locks when you are inactive for 20 minutes on a PC or 3 minutes on a mobile device. This is adjustable, but clearly the idea is to keep your files locked down as much as possible. Office 365 home users can store unlimited files with a paid account. The free version of OneDrive also includes Personal Vault, but only allows three files at a time, so it’s a teaser to convince you to upgrade.
If you have OneDrive, I recommend taking a good look at Personal Vault. Consider moving your most critical files there for extra security.