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Microsoft Joins the Two Factor Authentication Club

Microsoft has jumped on the two factor authentication band wagon and will soon be able to offer a secondary verification process to users of its Microsoft accounts.

Google has been offering two factor authentication for a number of its products and apps for a couple of years now. Apple also joined the two factor club earlier this year, so the uptake from Microsoft seems somewhat expected, if not overdue.

The additional security option will provide optional protection across entire Microsoft accounts which are used to access services like Outlook, Skydrive, Skype, Office 365 as well as devices including Windows phone and Xbox. The two factor authentication can also be applied to Window 8 OS.

Microsoft has added a number of additional security precautions in line with the new dual protection process, for example requesting a password reset if an account is inactive for 60 days. There is also a strict process for if the secondary security credentials are lost of forgotten by the user. Microsoft cannot retrieve or change these details, the only way to rectify the problem of being locked out of a Windows account is by following a 30 day recovery process. Users who misplace both sets of authentication credentials will not be able to re-access their Microsoft account.

The Two Factor Authentication feature will be available with Microsoft accounts ‘over the next few days’.

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