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Microsoft beefs up account security

Adds three safety features
Tue Dec 10 2013, 15:56
Man in balaclava using laptop

SOFTWARE COBBLER Microsoft has announced some features for its account holders designed to promote security.

On the company's blog, Microsoft Accounts group programme manager Eric Doerr explained three innovations designed to keep accounts safe.

He said, "We think about protecting accounts as a partnership between us and you - the more you help us (with accurate account info, and updated security info), the more we can help you keep your stuff safe."

First is a "recent activity" view. This will allow you to see the last 10 actions on your account, along with their locations. Clearly inspired by the Shaggy super hit, Microsoft has also included a large "It Wasn't Me" button so you can earmark any suspicious activity. However, the location given is often that of your internet service provider (ISP) office, server farm or cable head end, so it's best to be cautious when using this information.

Also new are "recovery codes", which are designed to allow you to access your account in the event that you forget your login details, mother's maiden name, favourite teacher and the like. Amnesiacs will, however, have to remember where they stored the recovery code, which is a long string of characters similar to a product key.

Finally, Microsoft is now offering account holders control over how and where they receive notifications of unusual activity, including email addresses and mobile phone numbers.

Microsoft seems rather pleased with itself for having added these basic security features that it should have had all along, but at least it finally thought of and implemented them. All of these additional features are available now in the control panel of Microsoft accounts. µ

 

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