Microsoft this morning confirmed that it will roll out two-factor login for Microsoft Accounts across its major consumer products and services — giving users the option to boost their online security and thwart hackers by supplementing their normal passwords with secondary forms of authentication.
One common use of the feature will be through a smartphone, with users entering a code delivered to their phones when they log in to their accounts. Activation of the feature is optional, and users who do activate two-factor login can tell the system to not ask for secondary verification on machines that they use regularly.
Microsoft says two-factor login will be available across its devices and services, including Windows 8, Xbox Live, Outlook.com and Windows Phone.
News site LiveSide.net first broke the news of the feature on April 9, and Microsoft confirmed the plan in a post this morning, saying that it will roll out to users in the next few days. It will be available via this dashboard in users’ Microsoft Accounts: https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage.
Microsoft has already released an Authenticator app for Windows Phone, and the service is also expected to work with similar apps on iOS, Android and BlackBerry.