With the increasing focus on improving user account security, two-factor authentication has become a ‘must have’ feature for many popular online services. Following the lead of other companies Microsoft will soon join them in offering the feature to help better secure user accounts.
Image courtesy of LiveSide.net Blog.
The new security scheme will utilize an authenticator app on a user’s mobile phone after it has been authorized for the desired account via a pairing process. (You can view a screenshot of the authenticator app via the CNET article linked below.)
While the move to two-factor authentication will be a welcome move, there will be a few ‘bumps’ along the way as Microsoft works to integrate the new feature into its services…
From the LiveSide blog post: One of the limitations of the two-step verification feature is that it will not work with linked accounts, as such users are required to unlink all their linked accounts before turning the feature on.
In addition, some apps or devices that use a Microsoft account might not support two-step verification (such as the mail app on some phones), as such Microsoft also added a feature called “app password”. When you have turned on two-step verification and sign in to an app or device that doesn’t support the feature, simply generate an app password from the Microsoft account website, and enter that into the password field to sign in.
You can view multiple screenshots and learn more about the upcoming feature by visiting the two blog posts linked below.