About a week ago, astute watchers of the Windows Phone
Marketplace Store noticed that Microsoft silently delivered a new app called Authenticator. As of yesterday, Microsoft confirmed two-step authentication would be coming to Microsoft accounts in the coming days in a post to their TechNet blog. The new feature will be optional, but following in the footsteps of other cloud-hosted consumer services Microsoft will be encouraging users to opt-in for the service to help better protect their account from cyber criminals looking to hijack email accounts for sending spam, to uncover stored cardholder data, or even to steal files from an innocent user’s SkyDrive.
Microsoft directs users to head on over to https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage to turn on two-step authentication for their account. Then, once you link your Microsoft account in the Authenticator app it can generate verification codes for you to use when logging in on an untrusted PC. You will also have to use two-step authentication to log in with a trusted PC if you haven’t logged in with it during the last sixty days. Keep in mind that this feature like most Microsoft online services, will roll out in waves so you may not see the option to enable two-step authentication in your account for a few days.