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Microsoft today introduced a two-step verification process to protect Microsoft Accounts and make users’ information more secure.

The optional security measure is poised to prevent hacks, fraudulent activities, and account abuses. It will implement verification on all the products and services that use a Microsoft Account, like Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Outlook, Skype, and SkyDrive.

The two-step verification will ask for two pieces of information any time users access their account: a password and a code sent to your phone or inbox. Smartphone users can set up an authenticator application that sends them verification codes while offline.

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The security update works anywhere you use your Microsoft account – on Windows 8, Web browsers, and Microsoft apps and services on iOS and Android devices.

The two-step verification code has been in place for more than a year on activities like editing credit cards and subscriptions on, and will continue to be mandatory for all users of these services.

Microsoft is the latest company to implement two-step verification across platforms, joining companies like Dropbox, Apple, and Google that already use the increased security measures.

A Microsoft Account works across all devices and keeps personal settings, contacts, and other information stored in one place. This makes it easy to stay connected to people via social networks.

Although the new security measures will better protect user information, it makes it harder for people to recover passwords and security proof. The new measures require a 30-day wait to regain access to your account if you misplace your secondary security proof, and if both the password and proof are lost, so is your Microsoft Account.

Users of the new two-step verification are encouraged to keep information up-to-date and not be absent-minded when it comes to password and security information.

Photo by Microsoft.

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