How to Secure Your Microsoft Outlook and Office 365 Account

office 365 and outlook image

Microsoft’s Outlook is an important online resource for many. Your Outlook Account is connected with Office 365, as well as services like OneDrive and email. With so much riding on Outlook, you must keep your account safe from hackers and scammers. Follow our guide below for how to keep your account safe.

Turn on Outlook 2FA

Two-factor authentication is an essential layer of defense against hackers and scammers. You should always leave 2FA activated on your account.

Log into your Outlook account and click your picture or initials in the top-right corner.

Microsoft Outlook- Login
Image 1 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Click ‘My account.’

Outlook
Image 2 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Under ‘Security info,’ click ‘UPDATE INFO.’

Outluck - Microsoft
Image 3 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Click ‘Add method.’

Outlook - Security
Image 4 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Select a method from the dropdown menu and click ‘Add.’

outluck
Image 5 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

If Adding a Phone Number

Select your country code, enter your phone number, and select ‘Text me a code.’ Click ‘Next.’

Outlock -
Image 6 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Enter the code received on your phone and click ‘Next.’

Outlook -
Image 7 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Click ‘Done’ to activate 2FA.

Outlook - Phone Added
Image 8 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

If Adding an Authenticator App

Download the app to your phone using the link provided or searching ‘Authenticator’ on your app store. Click ‘Next.’

Outlook - App
Image 9 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Add your account by following the step on the authenticator screen. Click ‘Next.’

Outlook 2FA
Image 10 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code. Click ‘Next.’

Outlook
Image 11 in 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Approve the notification on your phone to start your new 2FA features.

Outlook - Notify
Image 12 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Once ‘Notification approved’ appears, click ‘Next.’

Outllook - Final
Image 13 of 2FA tutorial. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

Be advised: If you are going to use an app instead of your phone number as the 2FA option, then you must ensure you keep backup codes or that you use Authy, the authenticator app, with a cloud backup. If you lose your phone without a backup of your 2FA-codes to log in, you’ll lose access to your account.

Be Sure to Use a Strong, Unique Password

Avast - Password Generator
Companies like Avast offer password generators and password managers. | Source: Avast

Each account you use should have its own strong password. If you re-use an old password, any accounts that share it could become compromised in the event of a hack. To keep your account secure, you should use a password generator for each new account you make.

To keep track of your passwords, you should use a password manager. Browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome come with a built-in password manager for free. If you want a service installed across multiple devices, you should use a paid-for password manager like DashLane or LastPass.

Read: The Most Common Mistakes When Creating Passwords

Don’t Share Accounts

Outlook - Share Account Email
If a colleague or friend sends you an email like this, you should be wary of sharing your info. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

You must keep your login information completely to yourself. If you share your account with someone else, it’s impossible to be sure they’ll be as careful as you are with your account. You should be especially wary of sharing your account with someone online. If someone you know messages you asking for your account details, their account may have been compromised.

Outlook, and other Microsoft services, have built-in sharing functions to make the sharing of documents and files much safer. If someone wants to log in to your Outlook account to get a file or read an email, you should offer to use the built-in share function instead.

Careful of Scam Emails

Outlook - Scam Email
If you receive a message like this from a company you’ve never heard of, then you should avoid downloading any attachments or clicking on any links. | Source: Hacked/W.S.Worrall

As Outlook is an email service, you may occasionally receive messages from scammers. You should be careful of any messages that seem suspicious to you. Do not click on any of the links that come in an email before you’re 100% sure you know where the message has come from.

Scammers often try to disguise fraudulent messages as though they’re from a legitimate and trusted source. Keep a close eye on the sender’s email address for spelling mistakes that would give away a fake email. Even if the sender’s address is correct, that’s no guarantee that an email isn’t a scam. Hackers can disguise their real address as though it’s a legitimate one. If you’re suspicious of an email, you should delete it and contact the sender through a confirmed channel.

Lost access to your account? Visit our guide to recovering a hacked account here.

If you’re worried about your Outlook Account’s security, you can order a security audit here.

Featured image by dennizn from Shutterstock.com

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William Worrall
William Worrall
A gaming and technology writer who has been building computers and tinkering with software since he was a teenager. Previously involved with various prestigious websites, including TechRaptor.net and CCN.COM

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