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Microsoft beefs up Account security

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Microsoft beefs up Account security

An interesting tech trend of the past couple of years is the increasingly diverse services offered by large companies. Take Microsoft for instance: You have email, Office, cloud storage, Xbox, Windows Phone, etc. These services are about as different as they come, but are all linked by your Microsoft Account. But having all of your eggs in one basket could pose a security threat, especially if your account has a weak password. This is why Microsoft recently introduced a two-step verification to make it harder for hackers to gain access to your Account.

Below is an overview of the two-step verification system Microsoft has recently implemented.

What is it?
If you use any of Microsoft’s products, you likely have a Microsoft Account. This account is what you use to access SkyDrive, Outlook, Skype, Office or even the Xbox. The whole idea of this is that you have one account for all of Microsoft’s products and services.

While this is great (you only have to remember one username and password), it can be a security issue. If a hacker gets into your account, they could have access to all of your personal information. Microsoft realizes this and has recently introduced two-step verification, a new Microsoft Account feature that beefs up your account’s security.

Two-step verification is a feature that will ask you additional questions when you try to log in to your Microsoft Account. For example, you may be asked to enter a PIN or phrase that is sent to your phone. If you have used your credit card at the Microsoft Store, or on an Xbox in the past year, you have likely seen this feature in action. Now, Microsoft has extended it to your account.

This new feature is not mandatory for your Microsoft Account, so you have to sign up for it. But It is a good idea to consider enabling this function on your account, especially if you have sensitive information stored online. While this won’t make your account 100% hack proof, it will drastically cut down the chance of a hacker gaining access.

How to set up two-step verification
Microsoft has made it really easy to enable this security measure. You can do so by:

  1. Going to https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage and logging into your Microsoft Account.
  2. Selecting your phone number and Text from the drop down menu and pressing Next on the window that opens to receive a text message with a code. If you don’t see this option, you should be taken directly to they account management screen
  3. Entering the code you get on your mobile device and pressing Submit.
  4. Clicking on Security Info under Overview.
  5. Selecting Set up two-step verification followed by Next.
  6. Picking from how you would like to receive verification codes (Authenticator app, Phone, or another email account). We recommend the app, which you can download onto your mobile device.
  7. Following the instructions on the screen and entering the code that is sent your the option you selected above, and pressing Next.

Your account should now have two-step verification. The next time you log in, you will be asked to verify the login using the option your selected. For example, if you selected a text message, you will receive a text on your phone with a code.

If you would like to learn more about your Microsoft Account and security measures you can take to, please contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org.
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