Microsoft Account Gets More Secure with Two Factor Authorization

ICYMI, your Microsoft Account will get more secure as the team rolls out a new upgrade which includes two-step verification, as noted on the Bing newswire. This will improve the security of the devices and services currently used by more than 700 million people worldwide, including Windows PCs, Phones, Xboxes, and services like, SkyDrive and Skype.

Microsoft has increasingly focused on delivering connected devices and services that are currently used by more than 700 million people around the world. A Microsoft account is the key that unlocks your experience across these products—from your Windows PC to your Windows Phone, from Xbox to, from SkyDrive and Skype to Office and much more.

Given this critical role for Microsoft account, we remain vigilant in working hard to protect your account, which is why we’re adding an option so you can enable two-step verification to further protect yourself. You should see this option show up in your account in the next few days. You can enable this capability at

Two-step verification is when we ask you for two pieces of information anytime you access your account — for example, your password plus a code sent to a phone or email on file as security info.

More than a year ago, we began bringing two-step verification for certain critical activities, like editing credit cards and subscriptions at and, or accessing files on another one of your computers through For these scenarios, two-step verification is required 100 percent of the time for everyone, given the sensitive nature of these tasks.

Read more from Eric at the link above.


Curious how to back up your PC? There are a few free options via Windows Live

Listening to you’re a local radio show today en route between building on our shuttle this morning about backing up your PC, I thought I’d note that a number of firms offer free and commercial options to back up your PCs. Microsoft does offer free ways for consumers to do this:

It’s also easy to back up (save copies of) your personal files, such as pictures, music, and documents, for safekeeping. More info at – it’s easy to do this with an inexpensive attached or network accessible USB hard drive, or even a flash drive connected right to your PC (I rotate a few keychain-sized flash drives on my main personal computer at home).

If you’ve read this blog previously, you may also know that I rely on my Windows Home Server, including my HP MediaSmart EX470 as well as my recently added Acer Aspire easyStore AH340 Home Server.

Just a couple of thoughts.


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How to access your bookmarks on Windows Phone 7

As I noted in my post with tips on moving from an iPhone to a new Windows Phone 7, I also touched on how to sync several files, including the backing up of my iPhone’s browser bookmarks. I failed to note how I access my favourites on Windows Phone 7, which I do via the power of Windows Live. (There are different ways to sync files on your phone, depending on the type of file and where it’s stored. To learn more, take a look at the article on syncing files with your phone.)

One easy way I’ve found to use the list of my favourites (sorry, in the US it’s favorites 😉 I use OneNote Mobile. As I noted previously, OneNote lets you take notes and sync notebooks with your new Windows Phone 7 and integrates easily with Windows Live SkyDrive.

Internet Explorer Favorites are Internet bookmarks, simply web URLs (such as along with the friendly names for them (“M3’s blog”).  Surprisingly, I found that I had relatively few iPhone bookmarks saved on my device, likely a testament to how I used the phone: often, I linked to sites from an email or app. As noted in my previous post, since Apple’s iOS v3 release, bookmarks can be backed up in iTunes.

When you connect your iPhone to iTunes, you’ll see an option to “Sync bookmarks with Internet Explorer”. This will enable iTunes to save your bookmarks and have them appear in your IE Favorites list.

Now, with my bookmarks all loaded into IE’s Favorites, I exported my favorites from IE as noted in – you can select which folder to export (if you have many, as I do) or just export them all.

Once I exported the Favorites file (as “bookmarks.htm”), I opened this file in IE. Using cursor I selected the bookmarks displayed in the browser window that I wanted to reference on my phone. I then copied and pasted the selection into a new OneNote document right in Windows Live (I use Office 2007 at home — shame on me — and Office 2010 at the office, which with OneNote 2010 can be linked directly with Windows Live — very slick).

You can also use the quick and dirty method by copy and pasting the Favourites directly into an email and send it to yourself (a tip I use from time to time to remind myself of other important items ;).

Click here to learn more about using Favorites and history in Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7.

Additional resources


Tags: articles, what I read, blogs, Microsoft, travel tips, Windows Phone 7.

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Thinking about joining a new club? Take a look at the Windows Clubhouse

Groucho Marx famously said…

"I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."

Head off to the ClubhouseWell, there’s an exception to every rule. I found such an exception in the Windows Clubhouse.

The Clubhouse is a community where you can connect with other members and help people learn how to use Windows.

"The Clubhouse is all about sharing content and ideas. Showing what you do best. Voicing your opinions. Being an active member in a community that will select the best content for display on the Windows Vista and Windows Live sites."

This is a place where you can create and rate content about Microsoft products, share through posts on your blog and provide feedback on other’s posts.

More info:

I went ahead and posted my own profile here and tagged a few of my favourite blog posts, answers to popular questions on everything from Windows Live to the latest on Windows 7 to show up in the feed.

Tags: articles, blogs, Windows 7.

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Windows Mobile My Phone (no, it’s not “MyPhone”) beta site debuts. Sign up soon available soon?

I just saw that the new Microsoft Windows Mobile "My Phone" site (or is it myPhone? 😉 went live…

My Phone"Coming soon… Microsoft My Phone syncs information between your mobile phone and the web, enabling you to:

  • Back up and restore your phone’s information to a password-protected web site
  • Access and update your contacts and appointments through your web account
  • Share photos on your phone with family and friends"

You can find out more here, but no word yet that I’ve seen publicly on when you can register for the beta.

Should be interesting.  With 200 MB of free storage available on the Microsoft My Phone web site, I wonder if you’ll be able to tap into LiveMesh and online storage via SkyDrive. If a phone synchronization results in exceeding the My Phone limit, it would be handy to enable "overdraft protection" on SkyDrive.

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