Microsoft is enhancing security for non-business Office 365 users, adding advanced Outlook.com email encryption tools and ransomware detection for Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions, among other things. With these changes, user data is better protected while keeping intruders from accessing the information. A couple features are rolling out today with the rest arriving in the next few weeks.

Ransomware has become an increasing problem for users who, unfortunately, often don’t have all of their data backed up. The software holds the user’s information for ransom, forcing them to abandon it or pay a ransom to get it back. Microsoft’s offers protection from this on OneDrive for Business via the Files Restore feature, and now it’s bringing that same feature to OneDrive personal accounts.

An Office 365 Personal subscription allows for one PC or Mac, and one tablet (including iPad) to be connected to the service, and is the best option for individuals interested in using Office 365. By offering Office 365 Personal, in addition to Office 365 Home, we are better positioned to deliver the right Office to a broader range of households-whether it’s an individual or a family of five.

Microsoft today announced new protections for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers, aimed at helping them recover files, protect data, and defend against malware.

How many devices can I install Office 365 on?

With the UNSW Office 365 subscription, you can install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones. You can count hybrid Windows devices, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, as either a PC or a tablet. Please note a tablet screen is more than 10 inches is considered a desktop.

How do I install, deactivate, or check how many computers I have activated?

All of the installation, deactivation, and activation information is provided on the Office 365 page. You can find the Office 365 Install Status page by clicking on the name in top right corner, selecting View Account. The Manage installs link in the Install Status box will help you manage which devices have active installs of Office.

Security And Encryption

Of all the features of Office 365, security is where it separates itself from the rest of the pack of business and productivity software, such as Google Apps.
Even though Office 365 is a cloud service, which means for the majority of implementations your data will be stored on Microsoft’s servers, it has on-premise options. As discussed in another blog post, Office 365 offers an on-premise/cloud hybrid solution to satisfy compliance requirements, such as PCI, HIPAA, and eight other standards.

Access anywhere

When you do a Google search for “Office 365” the first organic result is for email login, which is a pretty good indicator of how many people are logging in via the web portal. Web-based email isn’t exactly a new concept, but Office 365 is doing it really well.

Integration

Just like Outlook combined your email and virtual calendar starting in 1997, Outlook 2016 has deep integrations with other Office 365 services like OneDrive, Skype for Business, or Delve (search and analytics). The OneDrive integration makes file sharing ridiculously easy and eliminates the problem of sending huge email attachments. Having Skype for Business integrated with your email and calendar tools allows you to launch video conferencing without having to download third party services and fuss with logins for every call. Delve provides more comprehensive email and document search, depending on your license. And yet again, Microsoft has been listed as a Leader in the Social Software in the Workplace section of the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

Encryption

Microsoft has made sending encrypted email accessible to all talent levels of users by offering third party add-ins that only require a few clicks, or conditional rules to apply encryption. We like this feature so much we wrote a post detailing all the different ways to encrypt email with Office 365.

License Flexibility

There’s no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to business software—every organization has unique needs. This product page will give you a good idea of what’s available out of the box, but you can also mix and match plan features to suit your needs.

How long can I use Office 365 for?

You can use Office 365 until you are no longer enrolled or employed at the University. Eligibility may be re-verified at any time. At expiration, the Office applications enter a reduced-functionality mode, which means documents can be viewed but it is not possible to edit or create new documents. You will be prompted to activate with another account or enter a Product Key. In addition, online services associated with the school email address, for example Office Online and OneDrive, will no longer work.

Can Office 365 personal use for business?

Office 365 Personal. This version is designed for an individual user, because only one person is licensed to use the software with this version. Office 365 Personal includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher (for PC only), Access (for PC only), OneDrive, and Skype

  • Microsoft Office 365 Personal 1 Year | PC or Mac Key Card
  • 1-year subscription for 1 PC or Mac, 1 tablet including iPad, Android, or Windows, plus 1 phone
  • Full, installed 2016 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more
  • 60 Skype minutes per month and 1 TB OneDrive online storage per user
  • Norton Security Standard – 1 Device
  • Includes always-up-to-date antivirus protection and defends against the latest online threats
  • The fastest, most comprehensive protection for your PC or Mac

Security Concerns With Office 365 & the Cloud

Simply put, security concerns surrounding the cloud are valid. After all, data is the lifeblood of your company. IT managers are also tasked with protecting corporate data, so it’s understandable they’d be hesitant to trust that data to someone else.

Within security, here are other concerns customers often relay and the answers we provide:

I don’t want Microsoft to access my data! There is zero standing access to data if stored in the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft controls access through auditing, approval processes and roles-based access. (Watch this video for a complete explanation from Microsoft VP Perry Clarke and Vivek Sharma, Partner Group Program Manager.)

How do I know my data will be secure from hacking?

No system in the world is hack-proof. Microsoft has recommended companies use the Microsoft Trust Center and set the Office 365 Security Analytics Service to the Microsoft-recommended settings.

How do I know other companies won’t be able to access my data?

To access your data in Office 365, someone must first authenticate with your Active Directory using Azure Active Directory Connect , Active Directory Federation Services or directly with Office 365 Azure AD.Another concern is how to ensure unauthorized individuals won’t access company data. Azure Rights Management is a cloud-based service that uses encryption, identity and authorization policies to secure files and email across phones, tablets and PCs.

If I give Microsoft my data, won’t they own it?

Microsoft does not own or use your data for any reason. In fact, if you cancel your Office 365 subscription, Microsoft will only retain your data for a maximum of 90 days before purging. This retention period gives an organization time to retrieve their data. For more information on data retention, check out this article in the Microsoft Trust Center.

What if I want to move my data back to my servers. Won’t Microsoft still have a copy?

Similar to the concern above, Microsoft will purge your data after 90 days.

Office Online features

The following table provides links to comparisons of Office Online feature capabilities available in Office 365 education plans to feature-rich Microsoft Office desktop apps. Use the comparisons to discover what features are available in Office Online and then click on the feature name to read a brief description about how that feature works. You may discover that some people in your organization may need the advanced charting capability of the Excel desktop app while others may only need to view and lightly edit Word documents and PowerPoint presentations with Office Online.

Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based applications and services hosted on Microsoft owned servers and available from devices with an internet connection. Some of the primary services used by UNH in Office 365 are Exchange Online Email, Skype for Business, and SharePoint Online.