Three new Hotmail security features we love

There’s a new version of Microsoft’s free webmail service and it’s coming your way soon.

The new Windows Live Hotmail offers cool new features like more storage, the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents, and better interaction with your favorite websites. But what we really like are the ways the new Hotmail enhances security.

Here are our top three favorite features:

  • SmartScreen. Microsoft’s anti-spam technology isn’t new. SmartScreen is used for Microsoft’s business-strength email services like Exchange and Forefront and to protect against web scams in Internet Explorer. This means that it’s got more than enough power to filter out most Hotmail spam. USA Today columnist Edward C. Baig concurs. In a recent article praising the new Hotmail, Baig writes, “Hotmail spam does appear to be drastically reduced.” For more information, watch Microsoft’s Spam-Fighting Technology in Hotmail.
  • Account recovery. We appreciate that Hotmail doesn’t give our password out to anyone who asks for it. However, we also appreciate having a way to reclaim our account if it’s been compromised. The new Hotmail allows us to use our cell phone number or other identification as proof of account ownership. For example, if you lose your password, or, worse, if your account is compromised, Hotmail will send you an account recapture code via text message to regain access to your account.
  • Sweep. Sweep is another way to get rid of spam and other unwanted mail, whether it’s a possible security risk to your computer or just plain annoying. Sweep is a virtual broom that lets you “sweep” the mail you don’t want out of your inbox into folders or into your trash, leaving your inbox cleaner and safer.

To see more of the new features in action, check out Meet the new Hotmail and Security upgrades in the new Hotmail. To read what the New York Times thinks, see Hotmail’s new security features.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »