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Tuesday, 09 April 2013 10:59

Two step authentication rumoured for Outlook.com

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Microsoft's Outlook.com email platform could soon be as secure as Gmail after reports suggest it could begin using two-step authentication, mashable.com reports.

Whilst the changeover from Hotmail to Outlook was met with positive reviews from many email users, some still registered concern that it lacked two-step authentication, which older devices had already been offering for quite some time.

Now, it appears that Microsoft has bowed to pressure and will roll the service out to its global audience over the coming weeks. This provides good news for brands using email marketing as it would better protect against fake users logging onto contacts' accounts and making amendments.

Even though Microsoft hasn't yet officially announced the change, screenshots appearing to show such a service have surfaced online, along with detailed information of what it would entail.

Just as with existing services such as Gmail, the authentication for Outlook would see codes sent to a user's phone which they would then have to input in order to prove they are who they claim to be. Instead of some existing models which send the information via text, however, Microsoft is reported to be trialling a rather different approach.

The rumours - as printed by liveside.net - claim that the unique message would appear to the user via an app which can be downloaded in the traditional fashion. It is this app which would generate the code once a user has logged on with their account password. The app and Outlook.com account would be linked via a QR code displayed on screen.

It is expected a user would need to complete these security features for each computer they use for accessing emails. Once identified, a user can choose to mark that computer as safe, which means they do not need to go through the process again but can instead just log on with their username and password.