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Bruce Banner

Email Accounts

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Microsoft now require alternative contact for holders of Hotmail accounts. Not wanting to give them my mobile number I gave them a gmail account I use for android but never log on to. When I logged into that to retrieve the code from Microsoft I was asked for an alternative contact, but at least gmail gave an opt out option. Why this sudden obsession with password security?

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Why this sudden obsession with password security?

I think they are realising that email has somehow become the "key" to your digital life, and thats actually pretty scary. Bank accounts and savings all dependent on an email address.

Email started out as simple unsecure text messages and they are still sent as plain text across the internet, which lots of 3rd parties can potentially intercept.

Most people are terrible at managing passwords and lose of mistype them. Microsoft have millions of these accounts to deal with.

What you should be complaining about is why has it taken them this long to tighten things up a bit.

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Perhaps because when someone's account is hacked or they lose their password and can't remember the answer to their security question, the amount of effort required for the user to prove who they are (e.g. scan and send a birth certificate or some such) and likewise the amount of effort for the provider to carry out the verification - especially if a free service - is just not worthwhile.

For the conspiracy theory version, providers are harvesting information - pretty sure Google (or one of them) keeps inviting me to put my mobile phone number in.

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