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Xbox LIVE Account Security

How to Protect your
Microsoft Account

Account security is one of our top priorities at Microsoft. Follow this checklist to make sure your Microsoft account and PC are as secure as possible.

Five steps to take now:

These five steps cover the basics of improving security on your Microsoft account. To go beyond these basics, and do more to protect your family and account information, visit the additional security steps here.

1. Add security proofs to your Microsoft account

Security proofs are means of verifying your account ownership. We can help you resolve issues with your account more quickly if we have a contact phone number and an email address to which we can send a code to verify that you are the actual owner of the account.

Get started

Go to Manage Your Security Info, and sign in with your Microsoft account and password. For more information visit

2. Update your web browser and computer with the latest security fixes

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To ensure your web browser and computer is up to date with the latest security fixes, check to make sure you have the latest updates from Windows Update.

If you are using an Apple Mac, you can find out how to check for updates from Apple here.

3. Install or update your virus, spyware and malware protection software

Check your virus protection software to make sure it's running and up to date. If you don't have any protection software installed, do it now! Microsoft Security Essentials is antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-malware software, available to download free.

4. Make sure your browser phishing filters are turned on

Enabling these in your web browser helps detect phishing websites and can also help protect you from downloading or installing malware (malicious software) alert you of any potential scamming websites. Normally these are turned on by default, but it's best to double check:

In Internet Explorer, select the "Gear" icon on the tool bar, then select Safety, then Turn On Smart Screen Filter.

For all other browsers check the browser's online help.

5. Create a strong password for your Microsoft account

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Simple passwords can be very easy to guess, like "password" or "abc123," a word that's in a dictionary or the name of your pet dog. A strong password includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (for example, #, $, %, ^, &, and *).

Tip: Think of a memorable sentence from your favorite film, book or song lyric. Use the first letter of each word in the sentence, then add meaningful numbers, then add special characters.

Check your password strength here.

To further improve your account security, review the additional steps here.