Two-Step Authentication Coming to Your Microsoft Account
Posted by Ken Barnes
Staying one step ahead of the fraudsters.
Microsoft has announced that they'll be introducing two-step authentication to all devices that use the standard Microsoft Account - meaning that your Xbox, SkyDrive, and other Microsoft Account-protected services will have a further layer of security to help prevent fraudulent account access.
For PC and Mac-based Microsoft services, an app for Windows Phone will be available that allows you to generate a one-time-use code that you'll be prompted for when you sign in. Non-Microsoft provided apps that are compatible with Microsoft Account are already available for iOS and Android devices. For services that don't naturally support two-step authentication (such as the Xbox 360), you'll be able to generate a specific password JUST for that device. For services that you use often, you'll have the ability to ask the system to stop requiring two-step authentication for up to 60 days - and Microsoft Account will "tag" your device as being authenticated for that period of time. You'll be required to enter your standard password as you do now during that period, but you won't be prompted for an extra code.
Some may see this move as being a little bit over-the-top, but with Xbox Live account hacking and fradulent transactions being a real issue out there in the big wide world, anything that Microsoft can do to keep accounts safe is absolutely fine with us.
You should see two-step authentication rolling out to various Microsoft services over the next couple of days.