Add Two-Factor Authentication To Your Microsoft Account

Two-factor authentication is one of the best things you can do to secure your online accounts. Today, Microsoft is rolling out this important feature for Microsoft accounts — the key to Outlook.com, Windows 8 PCs, SkyDrive, Skype and Office. Here's how to enable it on yours.

Head over to https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage and sign in to your Microsoft account. Then click on the "Set up two-step verification" link to secure your account and make it harder for hackers to take it over with a stolen password. Then on the Security info page, add your mobile phone number and an alternative email address.

As with other places, you should have two-factor authentication turned on, when you sign in to your Microsoft account from an unknown device, Microsoft will send you a code you'll have to enter before letting you in. You can have Microsoft remember your device for 60 days, so you don't have to keep entering codes.

Note that the feature is still rolling out, so you might want to wait a little while before you see the option to turn this on.

Finally, Microsoft is also offering a Microsoft Authenticator app for Windows Phone. See Microsoft's blog for more details on the new two-step verification.

Microsoft Account Gets More Secure [Official Microsoft Blog]


Comments

    Type in username, password, AND a code? No thanks...
    Even typing in the first two is slow and annoying.

      slow and annoying for people to get in to your account to. that's the whole point.

    If this worked with Google Authenticator I would do it, but I dont always have great reception so getting a text message can at times be a pain.

      "For Windows Phone, we’ve released a Microsoft Authenticator app. The app supports a standard protocol for two-step verification codes and can be used with your Microsoft account and other systems that support two-step verification codes, like Google and Dropbox."

      Nothing concrete, but that sounds promising. If it uses the same protocol, you should be able to use Google Authenticator the same way you'd use their Microsoft Authenticator.

      According to the MS blog entry linked above, their Microsoft Authenticator app also supports Google 2-step verification, so it's highly likely to work the other way - Google Authenticator would work on Microsoft accounts (though I haven't tested it myself yet.)

      "The app supports a standard protocol for two-step verification codes and can be used with your Microsoft account and other systems that support two-step verification codes, like Google and Dropbox."

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