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What happened in the recent Hotmail outage
On December 31, 2010, a number of our users reported their email messages and folders were missing from their Hotmail accounts. I want to take a little time to explain what happened, and what steps we’ve taken to fix this problem and prevent it from happening in the future. In Hotmail, one way...
Thu, Jan 6 2011
Outsmarting social engineering threats with SmartScreen
I wanted to talk about a new user safety feature we just introduced in Wave 4: SmartScreen for URLs This safety feature is another step Windows Live is taking to protect you from socially engineered attacks and account abuse. This abuse is an industry-wide problem, and we've seen a significant uptick...
Tue, Jul 6 2010
Keeping your Microsoft account more secure
Increasingly, it seems like you can’t read the news without seeing a headline about a security issue exposing customer account information for criminals to exploit. As a guy who works every day to keep the Microsoft account system (formerly Windows Live ID) secure, each time I read something like this...
Sun, Jul 15 2012
Hotmail security updates protect you from account hijackers
Not too long ago, account hijacking was an issue limited mostly to financial service websites. Now the practice has grown to threaten other web services like email, disrupting millions of accounts every year. When an email account is compromised by hijackers, it violates the privacy of the account owner...
Mon, Sep 27 2010
Hotmail security improves with full-session HTTPS encryption
Beginning today, Hotmail is providing you with the option to enhance the security of your entire Hotmail session with HTTPS data encryption (via secure socket layers, or SSL), which is currently used to help secure your Hotmail sign-in. Today’s update joins a series of other recent security updates ...
Tue, Nov 9 2010
Data security and privacy in Windows Live
Windows Live is entrusted with safekeeping the email, contacts, photos, documents, and more that over 500 million people bring to our services each month. Today is worldwide Data Privacy Day , and we’re observing it by focusing on a critical way to help keep your data private: protecting it from account...
Fri, Jan 28 2011
Windows Update protects Windows Live customers
Certificate Authority provider Comodo recently notified us of a compromise to its system, which had resulted in nine fraudulent SSL certificates, one of which was our account login page at login.live.com. This issue also affected several other online service providers, including Yahoo, Google, and Skype...
Wed, Mar 23 2011
Hey! My friend’s account was hacked!
At Hotmail, we know that account hijacking is a big problem, and we continue to work hard to prevent it. We’ve noticed a couple of things about hijacked accounts. First, many accounts have weak passwords that make them easy targets for hijackers. Second, when someone’s account gets hijacked, their friends...
Thu, Jul 14 2011
Privacy is not dead
Wanting privacy is not about needing something to hide. It’s about wanting to maintain control. Often, privacy isn't about hiding; it's about creating space to open up. If you remember that privacy is about maintaining a sense of control, you can understand why Privacy is Not Dead. There are good reasons...
Fri, Apr 2 2010
Where did my saved email address and password go?
Last week, some of you may have noticed that the sign-in page for products that use Windows Live ID (like Hotmail) changed. Instead of multiple user tiles and two check boxes per account (one for “Remember me” and one for “Remember my password”), now there is a streamlined page focused on one account...
Wed, Jul 6 2011
Protecting your Hotmail account from theft
As we shared alongside Google on September 24 of last year, online account hijacking continues to grow across all email services, regardless of provider. To help protect our Hotmail customers, we’ve introduced a number of new features and technologies to safeguard accounts, including new methods of proving...
Tue, Feb 22 2011
Getting a reputation: How SmartScreen looks at URLs
I'd like to talk a bit about how we determine the reputation of different URLs and IPs and use this to protect against spam, phishing, and other abuse in Internet Explorer and Windows Live Hotmail . Let's start with a bit of background. When an abuser–a spammer, phisher, or malware distributer–attacks...
Fri, Mar 12 2010
Minor update for Windows Live Messenger pre-2011
If you are using Windows Live Essentials on Windows XP, or are still using a pre-2011 version of Windows Live Essentials (including Messenger), starting this week, you’ll see a required update that is rolling out in all 48 languages. This minor update to Windows Live Messenger and the other Windows Live...
Mon, Jan 17 2011
Behind the scenes: photo sharing on SkyDrive
When we launched Windows Live SkyDrive in August of 2007, we had the clear goal to make sharing easier and better for anybody on the Internet. But offering free storage to the world is a risky proposition – the list of services that have tried to do this and failed is long. So we took it slow, starting...
Tue, Mar 23 2010
Getting ready for Windows Live Wave 4
Over the last few months, we’ve focused this blog on our current software and services – how we build them and how they're used around the world. We’ve also talked about trends we’ve observed both in the use of our services and in our research with customers. Today marks the point where we shift the...
Wed, Apr 21 2010
Hotmail tips the scales
If you take a look through Dick Craddock’s blog post from earlier this year, A short history of Hotmail , or A peek behind the scenes at Hotmail , by Arthur de Haan , you’ll see that Hotmail has experienced enormous growth since it started 15 years ago. Today it delivers a service that is localized to...
Wed, Apr 7 2010
Hotmail thanks you for a great 15 years
This past Monday, July 4 th , the Hotmail team celebrated our 15th birthday ! This is a big milestone for us, and we thought it was a good time to look back at the past year and share how some of our recent changes are being used. The first 15 years have been busy, and none more so than this past year;...
Mon, Jul 4 2011
What’s new with Family Safety?
As part of our larger effort to provide a safer way for children and families to use the web, we spent a lot of time thinking about how to best balance control with simplicity in the new version of Windows Live Family Safety beta. In particular, we understand that parents are facing new challenges around...
Fri, Jul 16 2010
Security alert: Active links in Messenger 2009 temporarily turned off to prevent a malicious worm
A particularly malicious worm (a self-replicating computer virus) is currently trying to spread itself through many of the world's largest instant messaging and social networks, including Windows Live Messenger 2009. We’re very serious about protecting our customers, and are pursuing multiple avenues...
Fri, Nov 12 2010
Security upgrades in the new Hotmail
We were excited to share with you last week a preview of the brand new Hotmail , available starting later this summer. To follow up, we wanted to share a little more detail around some of the security investments we’ve made in the new Hotmail. Security remains the number one concern of people...
Tue, Jun 1 2010
Turning off vacation replies to fight spam in Hotmail
We’ve posted quite a bit recently about the work we’re doing to prevent spam on Windows Live ( Just say no to bogus Messenger invitations , Preventing spam and phishing using e-mail authentication , Spam, phishing, and other annoyances , and Fighting the war on spam ). In our fight against spam, we sometimes...
Thu, Apr 8 2010
90% less spam in Hotmail, 15% less spam on the Internet
In our war on spam, we’re making real progress. We’ve cut spam in Hotmail inboxes by 90% from its peak. We’ve played a key role in reducing spam on the Internet by 15% from its peak. And we’ve made it harder for spammers to use Hotmail to send spam – reducing “outbound spam” from Hotmail by 75%. Last...
Wed, Aug 3 2011
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