Microsoft accounts to get security boost in coming days with raft of new features

hackers russia steal 1 billion usernames passwords security

Anyone holding an account with Microsoft will shortly see a number of new security features coming into play, the computer giant announced Monday.

Information on recent sign-ins, for example, will be coming soon to its range of services, including Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Office 365, and Xbox, so when users sign in they’ll be able to see information on when and where their account was last accessed, together with information on other account-related activities.

“You know best what’s been happening with your account, so the more we give you tools to understand what’s happening, the better we can work together to protect your account,” Microsoft’s Eric Doerr wrote in a post on the Microsoft blog detailing the new features. “For example, a log-in from a new country might look suspicious to us, but you might know that you were simply on vacation or on a business trip.”

The recent activity page will also list information such as where and when any changes were made to you account, such as password resets. Failed sign-ins will also show up.

 If there’s something in the list that looks suspicious, you can alert Microsoft by simply hitting the “this wasn’t me” button.

microsoft account security

Back in April, the Redmond-based company followed in the footsteps of many other online services and started offering two-step verification for Microsoft account holders, with Doerr in his blog post recommending anyone who hasn’t yet implemented the security feature to do so in order to better protect their account.

Doerr also said Monday that the latest update addresses users’ concerns about what happens if they lose or change security information provided as part of the two-step verification process, with a new option to create a secure recovery code that can also be used to access an account.

“Anybody can add a recovery code to their account (even if you don’t turn on two-step verification),” Doerr explained. “Your recovery code is like a spare key to your house, so make sure you store it in a safe place. You can only request one recovery code at a time; requesting a new code cancels the old one.”

Finally, Microsoft said it will start offering more options for how you receive different kinds of notifications connected to your account, so you can, for example, have messages sent to a phone number as well as directly to your account.

Doerr said the new security features will begin rolling out in the coming days.

[Top image: Maksim Kabakou / Shutterstock]

Computing

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.
Computing

Email take-backsies! Gmail's unsend feature is one of its best

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.
Computing

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.
Computing

Microsoft asks Edge Insiders for help with its new browser development

If you want to be among the first to try Microsoft's new Edge browser that's built on Google's open-source Chromium rendering engine, you can sign up to be an Edge Insider. Microsoft is asking users to provide feedback.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Computing

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.
Computing

Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.
Computing

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.
Computing

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.
Computing

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Computing

Here's why 64-bit (not 32-bit) dominates modern computing

Today's computing world isn't the same as it once was. With 64-bit processors and operating systems replacing the older 32-bit designs, we look at what 32-bit vs. 64-bit really means for you.