Content of the article: "A friendly reminder to activate Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on your Microsoft/Xbox account in order to prevent it from being hacked or compromised. Links and set up guide included 🔐"
Hello everyone, a while back I posted here just to get people thinking about their security online and how to best protect their Microsoft (Xbox) accounts. I just thought I may as well just put another reminder on here for those who could maybe do with buffing their account security in an attempt to minimise the chances of accounts being hacked or compromised. There would be nothing worse than this, especially if the account is an important email you use, not to mention the money and time investment we all put in to the games we have on our accounts. First i would like to direct you to the link below showing just how effective 2FA is at protecting your account, stopping 99.9% of account hacks: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.zdnet.com/google-amp/article/microsoft-using-multi-factor-authentication-blocks-99-9-of-account-hacks/
What Microsoft offers in terms of security is excellent so i suggest you use it. to activate 2FA on your account follow the instructions here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4028586/microsoft-account-turning-two-step-verification-on-or-off
Basically, 2FA adds an additional lair of security to your account. Now, when you sign in you will need your email, username and a 6-8 digit code sent to either your phone, email, or authentication app (see point 2 below) to be successful. This means that even if some malicious person stole your login details from another breached site it would not be enough for them to take control of your account which is great! Most people shy away from 2FA because they cant be bothered with the 10 second nuisance of putting in a code every time you login. Well the good news is that once you set it up and login to your Xbox for the first time you will have to put in the code only once, it will then become a trusted device and you will now sign in as normal from n ow on as if nothing has changed.
Just because it is possible, I would also recommend setting up 2 backup methods just in case for whatever reason you are locked out your account, this can be done in security settings and you can add an email or a phone number. Its just another way to prove you own the account if you ever need it which you hopefully never will.
Also, in Microsoft security settings you can also find the "recent activity" tab. This shows you all the logins that your account has had in the past 30 days. It also shows you the IP address, location and "activity" that was carried out. Just have a quick check here and make sure its all you. If its not, simply change your password and report it as suspicious activity (there's a button for this).
Bonus points: 1) make sure you use a strong and unique password for your account, not something that can be easily guessed, personally I would aim for 16+ characters with symbols etc. By unique I mean using a password that does not get used or exists anywhere else. What happens if you use the same password and email for multiple things? Well, some site you may have signed up to years ago gets breached and all the users info is stolen including emails and passwords, wont take long before some criminal tries these credentials elsewhere to see if the user uses the same login info everywhere. Why would they do this? because certain accounts can provide more sensitive info which could be used to target bank accounts, and some accounts (for example social media handles or gaming accounts) can be sold for cash, or maybe to steal the digital games you own. I cannot reinforce this point enough: DO NOT USE THE SAME PASSWORD ACROSS VARIOUS SITES.
2) Use a 2FA app rather than mobile if you can. Mobile SIM cards can be swapped or cloned and codes could even be intercepted. I know this me be bordering on paranoia for some but there are cases of it happening. Although this would most likely be a very targeted attack on an individual you never know these days with the rate at which technology advances and I would say its always good to stay ahead of the curve. I recommend the app called Authy I use it for all my 2FA. Microsoft has its own app called Microsoft authenticator and it does the exact same thing. Instead of getting a code to your phone you get an instant one that changes every 30 secs from your app.
3) If you have credit/debit cards saved on your account that are not used for subscriptions, remove them. Better safe than sorry. The only subscription I have is Xbox live that I purchase yearly so i just add my card then buy it then remove my card again right away.
4) you can use haveibeenpwned.com to search for your email address and it will tell you if it has been leaked in any breaches, if it has just change its password. you can also search this same site to see if your password has appeared in any leaks.
Lastly, the reason I decided to post on here about such a thing is because every so often I see posts with people who have lost access to their accounts or have had their accounts hacked and it kills me. My brother had a PS4 account with more than £1000 of digital content hacked and it was just awful spending months to recover it. You may get the money back but the time many of us spend levelling up characters or having fun is something which is priceless and we cant claim back.
Anyways, I hope I have at least encouraged a few people to activate 2FA and give their account security a once over to keep it up to date. The majority of us will probably never need to worry about being hacked, but if you use the above tips, 99% of criminals wouldn't even bother trying.
Happy Gaming and stay safe! 🙂
- Someone keeps trying to log into my account
- I can no longer play BFV on my Xbox because I got a couple questions wrong. This is ridiculous.
- Dual Universe Data Breach.
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