If you’re a Windows user, Microsoft is beginning to roll out some new security features that you might want to take a look at. These new features add to the two-step verification process Microsoft rolled out last April. The new features will begin rolling out this week. Microsoft is stressing that while security is a partnership between the user and the company, the user should take pro-active steps to ensure their security. Here’s a quote from The Official Microsoft Blog article from Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Account:
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. 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. For example, a login 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 three new features include:
Microsoft will provide a page that you can examine if you’re suspicious about access to your account. Essentially you can view recent log-ins (successful and unsuccessful), when a password rest was requested or put into effect, and the addition or deletion of security info. You can see what type of device and which browser was used for the activity, and you can also call up a Bing map of the location where the request came from. There is a “That wasn’t me” button that will send info to Microsoft and you can take action. Here’s a screen shot from the The Official Microsoft Blog to give you an example.
Two-step verification should take care of most instances when you might need to reset things after providing a recovery email and a mobile phone number. But for those who might lose or change that info, Microsoft will now allow users to set up Recovery Codes in order to access their accounts if necessary. Two-step verification does not need to be set up for this to work, so this would also be of benefit if you don’t use two-step verification.
More Control of Security Notifications
Security notifications show up to let you know there as been activity on your account, such as a password change. With the new changes you’ll be able to direct where those notifications are delivered, such as email or a text to your phone, or both. Microsoft says it is responding to users who have requested this sort of control over security notifications.
The big key to remember here is regardless of which device and OS you use, you are responsible for your security and privacy. Companies like Microsoft can provide you with tools to make things more secure, but those tools don’t work unless you take advantage of them. It’s just like backing up your data regularly. It’s all up to you.