Microsoft announced that a new security layer is on the way for its OneDrive online file storage service. OneDrive runs on the Microsoft cloud, which has security measures in place, but OneDrive Personal Vault is designed to further protect users’ files. “We understand that some people want more protection for their most important and sensitive files, which is why we’re introducing Personal Vault,” said Seth Patton, GM, Microsoft 365, in a blog post. “We’re also increasing the OneDrive standalone storage plan from 50 GB to 100 GB at no additional charge, and we’re giving Office 365 subscribers a new option to add more storage as they need it.”

Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as a fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent via email or SMS. Users can use the OneDrive for mobile app to scan documents, take pictures, or shoot video directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of their device, like a camera roll. “It’s easy to scan important travel, identification, vehicle, home, insurance documents, and more directly into your Personal Vault,” said Patton. “And you’ll have access to these documents wherever you go, across your capable devices.2”

Personal Vault automatically relocks on a PC, device, or online after a short period of inactivity; once locked, any files will also lock and require reauthentication to access. “There’s no need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your file open—both will close and lock automatically after inactivity,” said Patton.

The new Personal Vault will be available to OneDrive users on the web, on Windows 10 and through Microsoft’s mobile apps, and begin rolling out soon in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It’s expected to be available to everyone by the end of the year.

Lynn Leahey