5 Steps To Securing Your Microsoft Account

Security is an essential part of today’s online existence. This is because of the emergence of cloud computing and cloud storage. Now everything is being shifted to cloud storage so that it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. But when we leave our data on the cloud, the security of data becomes more important because it is suspected to security issues like hacking and cracking all the time.

Google has been a leader in providing innovative security features to their users and customers. One example of this is the two factor authentication and application level password. With these security measures, the Google accounts becomes a lot more secure than before.

While Microsoft has not provided such authentication and security features to their customers, we can take certain measures even to secure Microsoft Live ID account. To secure the Microsoft account were take the following measures:

  1. First of all, we need to create strong passwords so that we don’t become a victim of brute force hacking attacks. This Microsoft article describes in detail about creating a strong password.
  2. The second most widely security practice is specifying a security question and an answer which will serve as a second level password authentication system. If you ever lose access to your account, Microsoft will ask you about the security question and you’ll need to specify the answer in order to get access to the account again.
  3. An alternative email address can be specified on the Microsoft account so that if you ever lose your account, the password reset code will be sent to your alternative email address. It is less likely that two email accounts can be hacked at the same time. It is recommended that you create two email addresses on different email providers like Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail etc.
  4. Secondly, you can add a phone number to your Microsoft account. Although this is not as strong as Google’s two factor authentication but it can serve as a second level defense. If you ever forget your password or your account gets hacked, you can recover it using this phone number authentication. The password reset code will be sent to your phone number. To add a phone number, go to the security info page and add the phone number.
  5. Another security measure that Microsoft has introduced is the trusted PC feature. You can add your computer or the smart device as a trusted device. This will help in further tightening the security of your account. If you ever lose your account password or your account gets hacked, the password will be reset through the trusted PC. You can add the trusted PC on the security info page by clicking on "Add the PC you’re using as a trusted PC". Multiple devices can be used as trusted devices.

I hope these security measures will make your Microsoft account or Windows Live ID more secure and recoverable after a hacking attack. What measures do you use for your safety? Please share with us in comments below.