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.
Click ‘My account.’
Under ‘Security info,’ click ‘UPDATE INFO.’
Click ‘Add method.’
Select a method from the dropdown menu and click ‘Add.’
If Adding a Phone Number
Select your country code, enter your phone number, and select ‘Text me a code.’ Click ‘Next.’
Enter the code received on your phone and click ‘Next.’
Click ‘Done’ to activate 2FA.
If Adding an Authenticator App
Download the app to your phone using the link provided or searching ‘Authenticator’ on your app store. Click ‘Next.’
Add your account by following the step on the authenticator screen. Click ‘Next.’
Use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code. Click ‘Next.’
Approve the notification on your phone to start your new 2FA features.
Once ‘Notification approved’ appears, click ‘Next.’
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
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.
Don’t Share Accounts
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
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