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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.