Microsoft added new security features to Hotmail on Monday that are designed to make it harder for accounts to be hijacked, and easier for victims to recover them if they are targeted by hackers.
Until now, Hotmail users have been able to answer a security question or have an email sent to an alternate email address when they are locked out of the account — either because it was hijacked or because they forgot the password. Those systems can be problematic because many people forget the security questions or they can be easily answered by strangers with enough web research.
Under the new system, users can register a mobile phone number and receive a secret code via SMS to reset the password. Users will also be able to register a trusted computer with Hotmail in advance, so that if that computer is used, Hotmail will automatically trust the communication and allow the user to reset the password.
For more on this story, read Microsoft beefs up Hotmail password security on CNET News.