Microsoft beefs up account security with recent activity, recovery codes, and better notification controls

Microsoft beefs up account security with recent activity, recovery codes, and better notification controls ...

Microsoft today announced security improvements to Microsoft accounts, including a recent activity feature, recovery codes, and more control over notifications. The new features, which the company says were added based on users’ feedback, are rolling out “over the next couple of days.”

First up, Microsoft has added a new view that allows users to see different types of activity, including successful and unsuccessful sign-ins, the addition and deletion of security information, and so on. For each type of activity, Microsoft shows you what kind of device and browser was used, and what location the request came from, alongside a Bing map:

Another conference. “Great.”

This one’s different, trust us. Our new event for New York is focused on quality, not quantity.


If you see something suspicious, you can click the “This wasn’t me” button that will guide you to protect your account from another intrusion. Microsoft in turn says it can use this information to help improve its protection mechanisms.

Next up, Microsoft has added support for recovery codes. For those who have set up two-step verification and are worried about both pieces of information becoming invalid, Microsoft now lets you create a secure recovery code. It can be used to regain access to your account if you lose your other security information:


The best part is that you can add a recovery code to your account even if you don’t turn on two-step verification. You can only request one recovery code at a time; requesting a new code cancels the old one.

Last but not least, Microsoft now gives you more control over how you receive security notifications (like password reset notifications). You can now choose where notifications go:


These three new additions build on Microsoft’s implementation of two-step verification about eight months ago. Microsoft says it has seen “impressive adoption” of the optional security feature, but unfortunately won’t say how many of its 700 million accounts have actually turned it on.

Top Image Credit: Martyn E. Jones

Read next: If you love cover versions, check out Covr’s music discovery platform

Shh. Here's some distraction