As the end of summer nears and kids get ready for the new school year, you may be considering one final getaway. Or perhaps this is a busy time at work and you’re racking up the airline miles. Whatever your situation may be, if you’re traveling, there’s a strong chance you want to stay connected and have easy access to important people and files.
With a Microsoft account, your important contacts and files are right at your fingertips, available from anywhere. For example: search for restaurants and activities using Windows 8.1 apps, check your travel itinerary from Outlook.com, save and share photos using OneDrive, store important numbers and emergency contacts in People, and more.
In addition to providing access to all your stuff, Microsoft works hard to keep your account safe. When you login from a new place, we want to be sure it’s you and not a bad guy trying to access your information. There are three simple things you can do to help ensure your Microsoft account is protected, while simultaneously letting Microsoft know when things that could look suspicious are actually you enjoying an end-of-summer vacation.
Add security info, and keep it up-to-date – One of the most important things you can do to help protect your account is to add security information, i.e. a mobile phone number or alternative email addresses. Attempts to enter your account with an incorrect password, or from an unknown location, will require you to verify ownership; something that’s likely to occur while you’re traveling. With security info in place, you simply need to verify ownership using the unique code sent to your mobile phone or email account. This helps keep you in control of your account, while keeping the bad guys out. Go ahead and add multiple phone numbers and email accounts if you’d like, and if you’ve already added security information to your account, just make sure it’s up-to-date.
Install an identity verification app before you travel – For those times when you’re traveling out of cell phone range or set your device to airplane mode, you can use an identity verification app to access your account. Identity verification apps use industry-standard security code generation, and work with various other services and providers. To get the app, go to your Microsoft account security settings page at account.live.com/proofs/manage, and click ‘Set up’ under “Identity Verification Apps.” Details can be found here.
Travel with your own device – In today’s digital world, it’s pretty common to use technology while traveling. It’s a great way to stay connected, watch movies, play games, check-in for flights, and more. If this sounds familiar, and if you use services attached to your Microsoft account while away from home, then we recommend traveling with a personal device whenever possible. It’s more secure than a public computer, and Microsoft is far more likely to recognize the device, greatly reducing the chances of you having to verify you’re the rightful account owner.
If you’ve followed the above steps, your account is ready to travel the world with you. Or, if you’re planning to disconnect for a bit, simply turn on your automatic reply and have fun!
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Outlook.com