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Microsoft is bringing ransomware protection to Office 365 Personal and Home

You might think that if you store your files in the cloud, that they're automatically protected from ransomware and other attacks, but this hasn't been the case. Microsoft is aiming to change that, as it announced today that it's bringing a number of features that were previously exclusive to businesses over to its consumer SKUs of Office 365.

The first new feature is Files Restore, which was made available for businesses back in January. This allows you to restore your OneDrive to the state it was in at any previous point in time, within the last 30 days. It also allows you to recover from anything - a mass deletion to a ransomware attack.

OneDrive will also detect a ransomware attack on your account, so you'll be able to know exactly when your files were affected, and restore to a previous time. Users will receive a message via email, mobile, and desktop, where they'll be guided through the recovery process.

Many users, especially consumers, might be under the impression that their files were already protected, since cloud storage is essentially putting their files into the hands of Microsoft. Fortunately, this is now the case.

Ransomware protection isn't the only new set of security features coming to Office 365 Home and Personal. When you share a link from OneDrive, you'll now have the option to add a password to it, so no one will be able to access the file if they're not supposed to.

Outlook.com will now offer email encryption, which will prevent others from reading your mail. Those that receive an encrypted email will receive a link that they can open on Outlook.com, or if they're already using Outlook.com, Outlook for iOS or Android, or Windows Mail, they'll be able to open it normally. Unfortunately, there's no word on being able to use the feature through the Outlook 2016 desktop app.

Users will now be able to prevent the forwarding of email as well, so if you're sending over sensitive information, they won't be able to share it. The attachments on these emails are encrypted as well, so the recipient can't even download it and send it.

Finally, Microsoft is promising real-time link checking in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which will be available later on this year. The apps will automatically determine if the website that's linked to contains malware or if it's a phishing scam.

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