Outlook (outlook.com) is flagship free email service from Microsoft. You can use it in the web-mail format or use it through an email client on your PC or smartphone. In order to prevent a hacker from breaking into your Outlook.com account, you can set up the two-step verification security in your Microsoft account. But if you want to go one step further in boosting your account security, then you can make use of the Microsoft Account app. This app is used to identify a new device that is being used to sign in to your Microsoft account. As soon as someone tries to sign in to your Microsoft account using your username and password, you receive a verification request on your mobile phone which must be approved to allow the signing in.
Here is how you can setup the Microsoft Account app to add another layer of defense to your Microsoft account:
- Download and install the Microsoft Account app in your smartphone. It is available for Android, iPhone and Windows phone. You can find the links to these apps at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/Windows/identity-verification-apps-faq. In our case, we are using the app for the Android smartphones.
- The app requires you to enter your Microsoft account username, password and verify some account information during the setup.
- After the app has been setup successfully, you are all ready to use it. Now whenever you try to sign in to any of the Microsoft accounts (outlook.com, Skype etc) from a new device, it will send an approval request to the Microsoft Account app on your smartphone. The request is unique and is given a code so that you can identify the request by its code.
- On your smartphone, you should see the approval request. But if you do not see the request, you can launch the Microsoft Account app to fetch the latest requests. In order to approve the request, you have to tap on the approve button.
- The approval will be automatically detected by Microsoft servers and you would be allowed to sign in to your Microsoft account.
- The Microsoft Account needs that your smartphone has a working internet connection. If you do not have internet in your smartphone, then you can generate the security codes in the Microsoft Account app and use them to verify your identity instead.
Conclusion: Microsoft Account app for Android adds an extra layer of security for your Microsoft accounts. Every time you try to sign in into your Microsoft accounts, it sends an approval request to your smartphone before proceeding – preventing any potential hacker from using the compromised username and password credentials to break into your accounts.