Office 365 documents can be autosaved to OneDrive or SharePoint Online but there’s a major exception which Microsoft needs to fix.
AutoSave is prominent in Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Office 365, on the left of the top bar. It will regularly save your document for you but only if it’s saved to OneDrive or Microsoft hosted SharePoint.
But not if the document is password protected. Important docs saved in the cloud should be password locked, because they are more vulnerable. So why has Microsoft blocked AutoSave for password protected files?
We can’t see any reason for it. Most likely there was a rush to release AutoSave and adding encrypted document support would have taken more time and money to do.
Why just OneDrive?
It’s part of Microsoft pushing customers to save more and more in their cloud service. Aside from advertising, Microsoft tweaks their software to force their corporate preferences on customers. At the moment, the Redmond strategy is about saving everything in their cloud.
The AutoSave feature doesn’t have to be for OneDrive only, it’s done that way to suit Microsoft.
Cloud storage has a place and can be very useful, but there are problems and the biggest one is privacy. Any documents in OneDrive storage are available to others like hackers, Microsoft itself and government agencies.
Password Protected Files
One of our cloud storage protections is password encrypting documents. It adds an extra layer of protection to your data and is easy to do in Office.
If someone hacks or peeks at your cloud storage, they have to get past the document password as well.
So being able to auto-save password protected documents should be a ‘no brainer’ to everyone except Microsoft.
Our ebook, Beating Bots, Spies and Cock-ups explains how to safely send files over cloud storage including collaborating on Office documents, but with proper security.
Microsoft can prove it’s commitment to customer privacy in a practical way by fixing their AutoSave feature to include encrypted documents.
There’s no direct workaround except to manually Save –
Ctrl + S on a regular basis.
The habit of pressing
Ctrl + S every few minutes will be familiar to long time Word users. It was once an essential practice because Word’s saving wasn’t reliable. It’s a shame that after all these years, that old habit is still necessary.