Microsoft will Shut Down Support for Linked Accounts in Next Month

By Akemi Iwaya on June 18th, 2013

If you or someone you know uses the linked accounts feature in an account, then you definitely need to pay attention to this news. Starting late next month Microsoft will begin the process of unlinking linked accounts as a measure to boost overall account security for users.

Microsoft has outlined the reason for the upcoming change as seen in the following excerpt and it ties in with the recent availability of two-factor authentication. Both measures are focused on helping improve account security. They recommend using the Alias Feature in accounts or setting up regular mail forwarding to manage your mail.

From the Outlook Blog post: We’ve increasingly found that linked accounts are less robust, and less secure than using aliases. With linked accounts, you can sign in to on the web and then switch to any other linked account without entering a password. It’s a handy feature.

Unfortunately, this same feature benefits the bad guys, too. We’ve found that quite often, people who use linked accounts keep their primary account’s security info (including password and proofs) up to date, but don’t lavish as much care on their secondary accounts. It’s easier for a malicious party to compromise one of those secondary accounts, which gives them full access to your primary account.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s move away from linked accounts by visiting the blog posts linked below.

An update to linked accounts [The Outlook Blog – Microsoft]

Microsoft swaps linked accounts for aliases [CNET News]

If you need (or want) to set up an alias for your account, then browse on over to the following link to view step-by-step instructions.

Add an alias to your account [The Windows Blog]

[via CNET News]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 06/18/13
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