Microsoft’s OneDrive is one of the widely used cloud storage services out there. OneDrive has many industry-standard security measures, including file encryption, ransomware detection and recovery, mass file deletion alert and recovery, and suspicious activity monitoring.
In addition to the existing security features, Microsoft recently added a new security feature called Personal Vault to OneDrive.
The Personal Vault is a place within the OneDrive with an extra layer of security. In simple words, Personal Vault is a protected area in the OneDrive. The Personal Vault can only be accessed with one of the provided authentication methods or the second step of identity verification (fingerprint, face, PIN, or code sent via email or SMS). The Personal Vault is a perfect place to store your sensitive and important files such as your driving license and ID card copies.
OneDrive Personal Vault uses more than just two-step verification or identity verification to keep your files secure. On Windows 10 computers, the files in the Personal Vault are synced to a BitLocker encrypted place.
The Vault automatically gets locked after 20 minutes of inactivity. To access it again, you will have to reauthenticate using one of the methods available for your account.
NOTE: If you are using OneDrive’s free or standalone 100 GB plan, the Personal Vault lets you add a limited number of files only. There is no file limit for Office 365 subscribers, though.
Using the OneDrive Personal Vault
Here is how to use the OneDrive Personal Vault.
Step 1: Head over to the OneDrive website and sign-in to your account or launch the OneDrive app on your device.
Step 2: On the home page of the Files section, you will see the Personal Vault along with other folders and files. Click on the Personal Vault icon.
Step 3: Clicking on the Personal Vault icon will bring up a dialog with details about the features offered in the Personal Vault. Click on the Next button.
Step 4: Next, you need to authenticate or verify your identity by clicking on the Verify button. Clicking the Verify button shows all the ways out there to verify your identity.
Select a method and then follow the directions to verify the identity. If you have linked your mobile number to your Microsoft account, you can select the same, type in the last four digits of your mobile number to receive the verification code and then enter the same to verify your identity. You can also use other methods listed on the page to complete the authentication. The Microsoft Authenticator app can also be used to quickly unlock and access the Personal Vault.
Step 5: Now that you have verified your identity, it’s time to add sensitive and important files to the Vault. Open the Personal Vault by clicking on its icon on the home page of OneDrive, and then click the Upload button to select and upload files to the Vault. You can also move files from other folders to Vault.
To exit and lock the Personal Vault, click on the Vault icon in the toolbar and then click the Lock option.