Microsoft OneDrive & Outlook.com safer now with ransomware protection

If your computer is infected with ransomware, it will spread from file to file, encrypting them until you pay the bad guys for the digital key. But ransomware can also spread to your files stored in the cloud which is what Microsoft’s new OneDrive protection is designed to address.

Microsoft have announced the ability to “roll back” the files stored in OneDrive to versions stored up to a month ago, to help you return to a point before you were infected by malware.

Also it will use its automated threat-detection systems to figure out when the ransomware began infecting those files and alert you via your phone that an infection has taken place.

Microsoft announced additional protections for sharing and reading files stored on OneDrive and emailed via Outlook.com, the web-based version of Outlook—including encrypted email. The catch? You will have to subscribe to Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription service that also includes access to PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and the other Office apps. The Outlook protections aren’t yet available to the Office 365 version of Outlook.

What This Means For You

Though smart surfing and other good Internet practices are your first defense against malware, including ransomware, it does happen. And if ransomware infects your computer, it tries to infect other computers on your network, including persistent connections to cloud storage. Erasing all of your files and refreshing your computer would be an appealing solution—if it didn’t mean losing all of your files.

Microsoft is pitching OneDrive as a solution: Upload all of your critical files now, before your PC is infected and even if the OneDrive stash becomes infected, you will be able to access an older, uninfected version.

Cloud Protections in Place

What’s new is that Microsoft has adapted its Files Restore capability—previously only for OneDrive for Business—and brought it into Office 365 subscriptions for home users. Not only will Microsoft detect an attack, but you’ll be notified by any channels that Microsoft would normally use to send you messages: email, a popup notification, and more.

Then, you’ll be able to enter OneDrive and essentially “roll back” to an earlier day. You’ll want to pick a day before Microsoft alerted you about the attack, naturally.



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