New Microsoft security tool helps users detect attempted account hacking

securityMicrosoft announced today that it’s rolling out new features to help protect users from unwanted intrusions into their accounts, and make the systems the company does have in place more convenient to use.

First and foremost, the company is introducing a new view for users to see both successful and failed attempts to get into their accounts. If they encounter suspicious activity, they can use a “this wasn’t me” button to get help from Microsoft on securing their account, and help Microsoft’s own security algorithms learn to better protect themselves and others.

For people who have started using two-factor authentication with Microsoft’s services, the company is also offering the ability to generate a recovery code, which will allow users to restore access to their account without having access to the other information they provided when setting up authentication.

For example, if someone no longer has access to their phone and their email account, they’ll still be able to get into their Microsoft account, when they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. It’s a system similar to those implemented by other companies that offer two-factor authentication, like Apple and Google, which each have their own recovery code programs.

Finally, Microsoft has given users a choice for where new security notifications are sent, so that they won’t have to get bothered on their home phone very time they reset a password if they don’t want to.

The changes come as Microsoft is continuing to beef up its own internal security in an attempt to better protect its internal systems from government surveillance.