Microsoft has announced plans to bring two-factor authentication to its online services such as Outlook, Skype and SkyDrive to counteract the growing threat from attackers.
The move comes in response to growing security concerns and similar rollouts by rivals such as Google and Apple.
Writing on a company blog group programme manager for Microsoft account, Eric Doerr, said that the move would help improve the overall security of its services to help boost user confidence.
“We remain vigilant in working hard to protect your account, which is why we’re adding an option so you can enable two-step verification to further protect yourself,” he said.
“You should see this option show up in your account in the next few days. You can enable this capability at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage.”
The firm had already enabled two-factor authentication on some key services last year but given the rising threat from criminals has decided to make it an option across all its tools, Doeer explained, revealing the scale of the threat Microsoft is fending off every day.
“Criminals increasingly target customers online across all major account systems and so we constantly update our services to try to stay a step ahead and help keep you safe,” he said.
“Most of that work is behind the scenes — we stop millions of fraud attempts every day.”
The move by Microsoft is likely to put more pressure on other services such as Twitter that have yet to introduce this capability, despite numerous calls for the feature in light of several high-profile account hacks in recent months.
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