Update: Changed the post title from : "A Simple Way to Keep Your Hackers Away" to better reflect the content.
So I’ve been away since a long time. Blame George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. That thing is pure genius it makes you forget everything else!
(Ok that and I’ve been really busy lately)
Oh well, I keep on hearing from my friends and relatives at least monthly that someone hacked their accounts, be it an email, Facebook, blog, Twitter, LinkedIn… and it really sucks. I’m sure you've already read or heard about it, that’s not why I’m writing this post.
To be honest, I am very careful and try my best to protect my accounts. To do that, I have to use whatever capabilities the companies I'm registered at provide me. We all know that usernames and passwords are the way we prove to a site that we are the owners of that account. That’s not enough, and it’s easily hacked by anyone who really puts his mind to it.
Hence, I have decided to use two-factor authentication for all my critical accounts. This post and the next ones will be about setting up and testing the two-factor authentication for the major companies out there. I already have two-factor authentication enabled for my main Google/Gmail account, so this post will be to enable it for my main Microsoft/Outlook (ex-Hotmail) account. The next will be about Google/Gmail.
Hold on a minute….WHAT IS TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION???
Two-factor authentication is basically adding an extra layer to the password. The password is effectively something a person “knows”. The second layer would be something a person “owns”, for example, a code sent to his mobile phone. This would make hacking into your account very tough… Even if the hacker gets your password, he won’t be able to log in without having your mobile phone.
Very smart yet very simple.
So back to my Microsoft two-factor authentication experiment. I will illustrate it via images, and any explanations will be included in captions.
|After Logging into outlook, press your name and then account settings|
|Press Edit Security Info|
|Microsoft double checks that it is truly you accessing your security info|
|After receiving the code on your alternate email, add it here. If you do not have an alternate email, create one asap. It is very useful when/if you lose your password.|
|The email received from Microsoft for double checking. To be honest, it looks fishy (phishing), yet it is legitimate!|
|After inputting the code, you reach this screen. Press "set up two-step verification"|
|After activation, Microsoft explains that some of your accounts might require special permission to be able to access your accounts.|
|Extra info on setting up your devices and applications.|
Seems pretty easy… Just a few clicks to enable my two-factor authentication.
Note: You have to follow the steps in the link in the last picture to enable easy access to your account via your phone.
Please do comment below and provide me with your feedback in case you decide to go ahead with enabling two-factor authentication. Next post, Google/Gmail Two-factor authentication!!!!