In the last post “What is Two-Factor Authentication?” we discussed about various factors of authentication system including different examples. We also learnt about Knowledge Factor, Inherence Factor and Possession Factor.
Microsoft recently added a second step authentication mechanism in all their accounts as an extra security layer. This post will guide you to turn ON/OFF this security layer.
Though it’s an optional extra layer of security system for user’s safety, it’s not enable by default. If you want to enable it across all your Microsoft account, you can follow the below mentioned steps in order to activate the security layer. Once turned ON, it will ask you a second step verification code to authorize you to the system.
Do Remember: This is an optional settings to safe guard your account against hackers. Once you turn it ON, you can turn it OFF again from the same settings page: https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage
To turn ON the two-step or two-factor authentication step across your Microsoft account, open your preferred internet browser and navigate to: https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage link. This will ask you to authenticate yourself. Provide your Live ID and password to verify your identity.
Once logged in, you will see the below settings page “Security Info”. If you landed to the “Overview” page, click “Security Info” to come to this page. This is the page where you will find a link “Set up two-step verification” as shown below:
Once you click on “Set up two-step verification” link, it will navigate you to the second section where it will tell a bit about this two-step verification system. Make sure to read and understand the lines mentioned in the below screenshot before proceeding to the next screen:
If you have any other Live accounts linked to your account, you will see the below screen, where the system will ask you to unlink those accounts at the moment. You will be able to link them again after enabling the two-factor authentication system.
Once you unlinked your additional accounts from the primary account or if you don’t have any other linked accounts, you will see the below screen where it will ask you to re-verify yourself. This is extra layer of security to know that, you are the real user to whom this account belongs.
This provides option to chose between email, SMS or an automated phone call. It’s better to go with the email or phone call because sometime the SMS sent by automated system does not deliver on time (especially in India).
Once you chose the platform to verify and click next, the system will send you a four digit code to verify that you are the real person whom this account belongs. Just enter the same code to the next screen as shown here and click Next:
This will confirm you the success of second level authentication in the next screen. If you just turned it ON, Microsoft will ask you for an additional security code when you want to sign-in to Microsoft network.
Also, remember that few apps and devices don’t yet support security codes. If you are among them, just follow the “Learn more” links mentioned in this last screen:
That’s done. Your account has now been activated with the two-step verification method and from now onwards, Microsoft will ask you to enter a security code sent to your mail or phone.
Now if you don’t want to keep this ON and decided to turn it OFF again, navigate to the same page: https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage and authenticate yourself with your Microsoft network credentials. Once authorized, navigate to the “Security info” page as shown below:
In the above screen, you will find a link that says “Turn off two-step verification”. Click the link and proceed next. This will turn if OFF and implement only a single method authentication to your account.
I hope that the post was useful to you and now you will be able to turn ON/OFF your Microsoft network’s two-step verification system. Stay tuned to my blog, twitter and Facebook account to read more technical articles and news.