Microsoft accounts to soon get two-step verification option


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Microsoft account users will soon be able to opt for a two-step verification for their entire Microsoft account as part of a major upgrade to improve the security of their accounts.

Confirming in an official post, Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft account, said that the two-step verification check will be an optional addition for users. For those who don't know, this security check option involves the user being asked to enter two pieces of detail each time they attempt to log into their account – say, a password and a code that will be sent to a user's phone or email on file. You can start off here:

This is how you do it

Those planning to opt for this will be able to choose to protect their entire account as stated above, whatever the device or service they are using with their Microsoft account. Microsoft will then verify that the user has at least two pieces of security info on file. For those with smartphones, Microsoft will offer assistance in setting up the Authenticator app. This will enable these smartphone users to get their two-step verification codes even when they're offline. After that, they will be asked to enter a code the next time they attempt to log in.

Importantly, those with an app on device that does not directly offer support for this new security feature can still use it. For them, Microsoft will help set up an app password that will be unique to each application or device.

Enter the security code to proceed

For Windows Phone users, there is the Microsoft Authenticator app that supports the "standard protocol for two-step verification codes". Users can use it with their Microsoft account and other systems with support for two-step verification codes.

Doerr adds, "The advantage of authenticator applications is that they use advanced cryptography to generate codes to access your account without the need to be online. This is especially helpful if you’re on vacation and don’t want to pay high roaming fees to receive text messages or phone calls."

Additionally, on devices that users regularly use, they can pick the option for no security codes. This way, users can use a code that is sent to their phone or email just once – per web browser, per device – and Microsoft will remember it for them.