A Microsoft account—formerly known as a Windows Live ID—is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services such as Xbox LIVE and Outlook.com, as well as devices such as Windows Phone and computers running Windows 8.
If you think your Microsoft account has been hacked, we recommend that you reset your password right away. To change your Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) password, sign in to your Microsoft account, and then go to the Password section.
Your Microsoft account includes settings to help protect your privacy
If you have added security information to your account and you have lost your password or your account is compromised, you can request an account-recapture code that Microsoft will send you in a text message or an alternate email address to help you regain access to your account.
If you receive an email message about the security of your Microsoft account, it could be a phishing scam. Don’t click links in any messages unless you trust or check with the sender. Instead, reset your password. Note: Microsoft does not send unsolicited communication that requests personal information. For more information, see Avoid scams that use the Microsoft name fraudulently
Scammers can get into your email account by installing malicious software on your computer without your knowledge. Make sure you use antivirus software that updates automatically, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, which is available for computers that are running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP. If you’re using Windows 8, you already have antivirus and antispyware protection called Windows Defender.
To learn how to adjust privacy settings in your Microsoft account, see Privacy and your Microsoft account.