Fed up with the hacks
Software giant Microsoft has said that it will improve Windows Live Hotmail in a new upgrade. Amongst the cunning plan is to link a user's account to a specific PC which will stop them being hijaked.
The updated Hotmail will roll out on June 15, and should reach all users within six weeks. Walter Harp, Hotmail's director of product management said that Microsoft is adding "proofs" to Hotmail to secure accounts against hijacking, or let users more easily recover control if their account has been snatched by criminals. He said it will become possible to set your computer as a proof that you have a right to access Hotmail.
Facebook and Google's Gmail, already offer similar ties to stymie account hijacking. Facebook lets users approve the devices they use to log in and if an account is accessed from an unapproved device, the user is notified. Google tracks log-ins and warns users of suspicious patterns. Harp claimed that the Microsoft method was a little better than Gmail. His mum is not going to understand when Gmail told her she had tried to log in from a different IP address.
The PC-to-account link won't be offered as one of Hotmail's new identity proofs until later this year. This will be part of what Microsoft has codenamed "Wave 4" of its Web e-mail service. He said that a mobile phone will be an additional proof. Hotmail will notify the user by phone, then send a new password to that phone.
Phones play another role in Hotmail's enhanced security: users can request that Microsoft send a one-time password to their phones via SMS. Harp said tht this would be used by people logging in at public places, such as Internet cafes, libraries or unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots. It means that you can use a public computer, which may be infected with keylogging malware.
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