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02 June 2010, 12:13

Microsoft to improve Hotmail security

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Windows Live Hotmail Microsoft has announced that an upcoming version of its online Windows Live Hotmail email service will include a number of new security enhancements. According to Anti-Spam and Anti-Phishing Team General Manager John Scarrow, "Security remains the number one concern of people who use email and a top priority for all Microsoft development efforts, products, and services – Hotmail included."

The new version of Hotmail will include updated account recovery features that will allow users to use a registered mobile phone and "other items" to prove that they own their account. Should a user lose their password or have their account compromised, an account recapture code can be sent to them via SMS and used to regain access to their account. When using public terminals, such as those found in coffee shops and airports, users will be able to request a single-use code that will be delivered to them via an SMS and used in place of their standard password. Scarrow says that the option should help to prevent passwords "from being stolen by key loggers and the like".

Like Google's GMail email service, which is now encrypted via SSL by default, the new Hotmail will support the option to maintain an SSL encrypted connection for a users entire session. Once launched, users will also notice "safety logos" next to messages from trusted senders, such as banks and other common phishing scam targets, which Microsoft recognise to be legitimate – making it easier for users to spot malicious imitators.

More details about the upcoming update to Hotmail, including a short video, are available in a post on the Window Live blog. The new version of Hotmail is expected to roll out later this summer.

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